[logo-slider]In Switzerland we were lucky enough to have one of the most talented European goalies around. We’re obvously talking about Elvis Merzlikins.

Genius and recklessness… that’s the first thing that comes to our mind when we think about Elvis Merzlikins. A 24 years old guy that we don’t know personally but that obviously, for what we’ve seen on ice and during interviews, is also a bit crazy. In a good way, of course.

After all, also a certain Bernie Parent – former goalie of the Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs back in the 60s/70s – was saying that… “You don’t have to be crazy to be a goalie. But it helps!”.

The fact is that Elvis Merzlikins is leaving the National League and really leaves a great void. In Lugano but also in the whole Switzerland. Sport thrives on characters, at times extravagant ones, who write the history of sport. And Elvis, already wrote a piece of history in his own way.

He’s been a pillar for Lugano over several seasons even though he’s very young. Moreover, some of his attitudes – that at times are wrongly defined as presumptuous –  and interviews made our days. Especially nowadays, in this world that is more and more hideously “politically correct”.

And then, long life to persons like Elvis Merzlikins, who is outspoken and self-confident!

Anyway, Elvis is also a great goalie other than a person. He’s extremely agile and his skills are way above average. He’s a goalie who’s able to inspire confidence in the whole team. A goalie that can really make the difference. A goalie that, to sum up, each coach would like to have on his team, also because on the top of it, he can definitively raise his level of play at key moments, see during playoffs.

He’s fast, his reflexes are impressive and he can make the right saves at the right times. Finally, he doesn’t disdain to gift the fans with some moments of show. We mean, he’s a modern goalie and character.

And let us not forget that Elvis shows a great mental toughness on ice, also thanks to the job that has been done over the years with Fausto Donadelli, his mental coach.

Elvis has always made his feelings clear… he wanted to play in the NHL. And right now, that moment is getting closer and closer. From our part, we can just wish him all the best!

He had a complicated childhood, but we don’t want to talk about that today. All we want to do today, is to celebrate Elvis Merzlikins who is making his dreams come true.

Way too many players cross the ocean too early… Elvis instead, did wait for the perfect moment. We think it’s safe to say that the way him and his entourage handled this whole situation was perfect. Elvis was able to gain experience in Lugano, where he had a key role and he played in a very important championship like the National League. Now he’s ready to make that step that whoever plays hockey wants to make one day… that is, to cross the ocean and play in the most prestigious league in the world.

The fans will miss him. Right, because the fans love Elvis – girls’ fans also because of his look, this must be said… – because of his skills and because of his extravagance. He’s hated, but at the same time respected, by all the opponents.

To conclude, we have the impression that Elvis Merzlikins never wants to stop learning and to improve himself. This is something that we think makes him also a mature person. And maturity, together with hard work, always make you go a long way.

He always says that one day (not very soon…) he wants to come back to Lugano. And in Lugano, everybody will welcome him back. Because the truth is that Elvis Merzlikins and Lugano are one and the same, made for each other… Elvis gave a lot to Lugano, Lugano for their part welcomed him from Latvia when he was barely a teenager and raised him, helped him to become one of the greatest goalies around and helped him to become a man. A man that now has all the doors open… a man that, thanks to his spirit of self-sacrifice and his talent, can make all of his dreams come true.

Good luck in North America, Elvis! See you in Switzerland in the future 🙂