Goodnight and Good Luck – Jan Jarabek

The Bison’s wacky week continues as BOTW bids farewell to import defenceman, Jan Jarabek.

Jan Jarabek leaves the Bison under something of a cloud. (c) 5 Hole Photography

Jan Jarabek leaves the Bison under something of a cloud.
(c) 5 Hole Photography

What have we lost?

The Bison have lost the services of a very good import defenceman at EPL level. An early season replacement for the underwhelming Jakub Barton, Jarabek was announced on the same day as Derek Roehl and the arrival heralded an upswing for the Bison in terms of their performances.

Jarabek is a positionally solid, strong defenceman with a fair bit of offensive upside. Possessing a cannon of a shot, the Slovak had a good eye for the breakout pass and joining the rush but most importantly for a defenceman was also responsible in his own end.

Jarabek’s performance levels had been very high and consistent since joining the Herd so to see him released in any fashion is a blow to the side.

Where has he gone?

Jarabek’s release was announced late on Sunday afternoon before the Bison took to the ice against Manchester. He has been released by the club due to disciplinary reasons.

Who replaces him?

At the moment there is no direct replacement for him though the club are reportedly keeping their options open. There are slight rumours of signing up Jaroslav Sarsok, recently released by Hull but they are not strong ones.

Final thoughts:

Well this is a piece that came out of the blue isn’t it. As with most signings, irrespective of what the press release says, I generally make contact with the club in case they have anything extra that they want to say on or off the record. I was told no on both fronts rather quickly. It’s also worth noting how the press release is written; Jon Baston fell foul of the coach and his team mates but the press release was almost conciliatory. This one was short, sharp and to the point. The conclusion that can be drawn is something happened that Sheppard couldn’t or wouldn’t ignore and Jarabek has gone.

There have naturally been rumours circulating as to what that particular incident was from fighting with a team mate (unlikely) to refusing to ice at times on Saturday night due to his altercations with Doug Clarkson (more likely but certainly unusual). Ultimately we don’t know and we’re speculating so let’s get back to what we did know.

When he left, I made the point that Jakub Barton was the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. Jan Jarabek was the right man in the right place at the right time it seemed; the defence got better upon his arrival, he was his own player but offered a similar game to Miroslav Vantroba that Barton couldn’t. Ultimately it seemed that the Bison were on to something of a winner.

Now he’s gone and for reasons that will never fully be explained to us unless Jarabek goes public with them himself (for all of the club’s foibles, they don’t muck about with such things) and we’re now left examining what the plan is.

An entertaining if inconsistent title defence combined with a litany of players stepping back or being released and the Bison are now facing the prospect of announcing a 4th import defenceman of the season if they chose to get one with the announcement of the signing of Dan Scott. These are certainly head-scratching times.

All the best, Jan; it was fun while it lasted.

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