With the world commemorating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall this week, TSN’s Dave Naylor explores the story of hockey’s famed Stastny brothers. TSN Original Feature STASTNY focuses on Peter and Anton, who defected from Czechoslovakia in dramatic fashion in 1980, and older brother Marian, who joined them a year later, all in search of the opportunity to compete on the North American stage. STASTNY premieres Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. ET on TSN’s SPORTSCENTRE.
STASTNY is powered by SPORTSCENTRE, Canada’s most-watched sports news and information show, and fronted by Naylor, a multi-platform personality who hosts the weekday TSN DRIVE WITH DAVE NAYLOR on TSN Radio 1050 in Toronto and makes frequent contributions to SPORTSCENTRE as well as the network’s exclusive live coverage of the CFL.
“By defying the Iron Curtain and defecting to North America, the Stastny brothers changed the face of professional hockey forever,” said Dave Naylor. “To help people appreciate their story, we take viewers back to the brothers’ home city of Bratislava in an Eastern Bloc country with limited freedoms. The circumstances under which the Stastnys escaped, including the torturous choice to leave family behind, mark an important time in both hockey and political history.”
Filmed on location in Vienna, Austria and the brothers’ hometown of Bratislava, Slovakia, STASTNY takes a revealing look at the Stastnys’ choice to leave their home of Czechoslovakia, allowing them to become the first star hockey players to defect from Europe’s communist-controlled Eastern Bloc.
Recalling the dramatic escape of the Stastny brothers from the 1980 European Cup finals through Vienna, Austria, with a valuable assist from former Quebec Nordiques president Marcel Aubut, the feature reveals the struggles of athletes living behind the Iron Curtain, and examines the Stastny brothers’ legacy as a trailblazing inspiration to Eastern European players looking to compete in North America.
STASTNY will be available for streaming on TSN Digital platforms after it premieres on SPORTSCENTRE. In addition, TSN.ca features a companion essay on the Stastnys’ story written by Naylor.