Mihalik Hoping for Contract

(Note: Article courtesy of the [i]Prince George Free Press[/i]. Direct link to article not available.) [b]Vlad Stands Out in a Crowd[/b] By Harpreet Sidhu, PG Free Press Vladimir Mihalik was easy to spot on the ice during Sunday’s intra-squad game at the CN Centre. The 6’8” defenceman was towering above his teammates during scrimmages all weekend long. Mihalik was selected 30th overall during the in 2005 NHL entry draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last season he played for the Red Deer Rebels where he collected three goals and nine assists in 62 games. He also dressed for Slovakia at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Vancouver. “Camp was pretty good. I’ve made some good passes and played well,” said Mihalik. “I think we have a good team this year.” With the addition of Mihalik the Cougars should have the tallest blue line in the league. Chris VanDuynhoven, 17, is 6’5 while Jesse Dudas is the shortest at 6’1. Mihalik began playing hockey in his hometown of Presov, Slovakia when he was six years old. He’ll be leaving for Tampa Bay late this week for training camp. “I’m sure I’m coming back here. I’m hoping to sign a contract,” said Mihalik, who likes the city of Prince George. Cougars head coach Mike Vandekamp was pleased with Mihalik’s play during training camp. “Vladi’s personality is great. He’s happy to be here and he’s always got a smile on his face. On the ice I think he’s going to be nice to watch. The first thing you see is a large guy with a long reach,” said Vandekamp. “The addition of Vlad, Patrik Vrana and Jesse Dudas is helping our defence. On paper we’re really strong.” The Cougars will travel to the Saskatoon Ice Breaker from Sept. 8 to 10. They will play their only home exhibition game on Sept. 13 when they host the Kamloops Blazers. [img]http://web.bcnewsgroup.com/portals/uploads/princegeorge/.DIR288/S0839_vlad_060830.jpg[/img]