A dream came true this season for ice hockey fans from Brno, myself included. Kometa Brno, the most successful Czech hockey club in history, returned to the top division after long 13 years. But the joy did not last long – the “Blue and White Aristocrats” lost the first eleven matches in a row, which has put many fans'passion for Kometa to a serious test.
Kometa Brno fired its coach Vladimír Kýhos on Wednesday over the team’s poor performance and results in the first four rounds of the Czech hockey top division. Kometa, which bought the rights to play in the Extraliga, lost all four games and is last with zero points. On Tuesday, Kometa lost 4:0 to Kladno.
Hockey forward and two-time Stanley Cup winner Petr Sýkora has signed with the Minnesota Wild in the National Hockey League (NHL), agreeing to a one-year contract. The 32-year-old Sýkora spent the last two seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009, before becoming a free agent. His earlier Stanley Cup win came with the New Jersey Devils in 2000.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic’s Lukáš Dlouhý and India’s Leander Paes take the doubles title at the US Open, their second Grand Slam of the year; Tomáš Rosický scores on an impressive return for Arsenal – former international team-mate Vladimír Šmicer tells us he hopes Rosický can avoid injury all season; Czechs Barbora Špotáková and Jaroslav Bába take silver medals in the javelin and high jump at the World Athletics Final; and Vítkovice top the table after three rounds of the new Extraliga season.
In Sports News this Monday: Czech hopes of reaching the 2010 World Cup recede further after a 2:2 draw with Slovakia; striker Jan Koller retires for good after a disappointing game in Bratislava; the unseeded Petra Kvitová takes a big “scalp” at the US Open – world number one Dinara Safina; and the Czech ice hockey squad start an “Olympic” season by winning their first Euro Hockey Tour competition in many years.
In Sports News: after a top-flight career lasting over two decades, the great Czech rower Václav Chalupa goes out in style; the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Petr Sýkora presents ice hockey’s Stanley Cup to fans in Plzeň; the Czech soccer squad gather ahead of a crucial World Cup qualifier against Slovakia; and three months after being photographed buying drugs, Roman Bednář is back – and scoring again – for West Brom.
In Sports News this Monday: Czech high jumper Jaroslav Bába is left frustrated after a poor performance at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin leaves him joint fifth, while the Czech team’s head trainer quits after 16 years; Patrik Eliáš becomes Czech ice hockey player of the year for the first time at 33; and Czech driver Jan Kopecký comes first in the Barum Rally Zlín.
Star goalie Dominik Hašek suffered his first loss since returning to the ice for the Czech team Pardubice. After a successful start and shutout by Hašek last week in the season opener, Pardubice lost to Slavia on Monday by a score of 2:3. The game was tied 2:2 at the end of the third period, but was won by Slavia on penalty shootouts.
In Sports News: the Czech Republic triumphs over Argentina in the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup; Czech footballer Pavel Nedvěd, recently retired, turns down offers from Juve, Mourinho, Hašek; cyclist Kreuziger is in 14th spot after the first nine stages of Tour de France; Knapková triumphs in Lucerne to become women’s single-scull World Cup Champion; hockey goalie Hašek is reportedly unhappy over his new helmet.
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Gunman kills six patients in Ostrava hospital, two more fighting for their lives
Czech teenager builds second-largest ever Millennium Falcon LEGO model
Press: Era of 100-crown lunch special is over, as food prices rocket
Misha Glenny: Organised crime is an important part of Czech economy – and corruption is its twin sibling