Ask someone to share a memory of former Detroit Red Wings star Petr Klima and you’ll likely be answered with a litany of responses. Many will instantly point to the triple-overtime goal he was scoring for the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of the 1990 Stanley Cup final.
On his day in 1985, Petr Klima defected from the Czechoslovakian national team to join the Red Wings. In honor of gaining his freedom from the Iron Curtain, Klima wore No. 85 throughout his 773 NHL games. He died unexpectedly on May 4, 2023 at age 58. https://t.co/k6k5rW1amY pic.twitter.com/JfDfFfGEoe
— Got'im, got'im, need'im (@Gotimgotimneed1) August 18, 2023
For Red Wings fans, some will go to his 37-goal campaign in 1987-88. Others will discuss his 10 goals in that spring’s playoffs, or perhaps his two postseason hat-tricks in 1988, which tied a franchise record. Some might even note the fact that he was first Red Wings player to ever to score a goal on a penalty shot in the playoffs.
Of course, there will also be talk of Klima’s cloak and dagger escape from communist Czechoslovakia to join the Red Wings. And for some, there will be the thought of Klima’s love for life in the fast lane.
Twin Sons Of Klima Remember A Loving Father
In the case of Kevin and Kelly Klima, Petr’s twin sons, their memories immediately go to the devotion of a loving father who they so tragically lost in May at the age of 58.
Both of them, today pro players in the Czech Extraliga, were taking part in the recent testimonial game at a sold-out rink in Litvinov to honor their father’s memory.
“It was very emotional for us,” Kelly Klima told isport.blesk.cz. “I would like to thank everyone who came and clapped.”
While most in attendance were recollecting Klima the hockey player, his sons were talking about the dad they could always count on to be at their side.
“He was a great dad, he was always there for us,” Kevin Klima said. Kevin could be seen seen wiping away tears during a huge ovation that was offered in rememberance of his father.
“He was an excellent person and player,” added Kelly Klima of his dad. “He loved hockey, he loved to score goals. The fans sure loved him.”
Kevin and Kelly were skating as linemates in the testimonial match. Kelly did so wearing his dad’s famous No. 85. “So it’s nice that my brother gave it to me,” Kelly said.
Kevin would score a goal during the match. “That goal was for dad,” he said.
The wound of their loss is still fresh. Discussing life without their father remains a tough topic to broach.
“It was a shock for us too,” Kevin said of their dad’s death. “But don’t be angry. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”