In a little over two weeks the national hockey team will begin its campaign to try and secure a medal at home at the Ice Hockey World Championships being hosted by Czech Republic. All eyes are on the national squad coach Vladimír Růžička but unfortunately nor only for positive reasons: he has come under scrutiny following an allegation he accepted a bribe while coaching domestic league club Slavia. Police are examining video released online to learn if a crime was committed. Jan Velinger has the details.
A criminal complaint of corruption has been filed against Czech national ice hockey coach Vladimír Růžička, TV Nova’s website reported. The complaint was made by businessman Jiří Jehlička. He says the trainer may be guilty of bribe-taking, fraud and breach of trust in connection with a sum of CZK 500,000 he is alleged to have accepted from a man to allow his son to play for Slavia Prague, where he also coaches. Mr. Růžička said on Monday that the money was a contribution from a sponsor.
Czech forward Tomas Plekanec ended the regular season with 60 points – 26 goals and 34 assists – for the Montreal Canadiens, tying him with defenceman P.K. Subban. Plekanec also was the team’s top goal-scorer after Max Pacioretty, who notched up 38. In the last game of the regular season, the Montreal Canadiens defeated Toronto in overtime by a score of 4:3. The win saw the Habs clinch the Atlantic Division title. The team faces Ottawa in their opening game of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs on Wednesday.
The veteran Czech ice hockey star Jaromír Jágr has signed a one-year contract extension with the Florida Panthers. Jágr, who is 43, joined the club from New Jersey Devils in February. In 21 seasons in the NHL, the Kladno-born forward is fourth in the league’s history in terms of points, fifth in goals and sixth in assists.
Plans have been announced for events in Prague linked to the Ice Hockey World Championships, which takes place in the city and in Ostrava first half of next month. A fan zone with screens and refreshments will be created by the main venue, Prague’s O2 Arena, while there will also be a big screen on Old Town Square. The capital’s transport authority will boost services near the O2 Arena during the championships, which will run from May 1 to 17.
In ice hockey, the Czech national team bet Slovakia 3:2 but only after the match went into extra time and penalty shootouts. The narrow win was the third triumph in a row in preparations for the World Championships being hosted by Prague and Ostrava at the start of May. Five changes were made to the Czech team that faced Norway twice in the previous warm ups. Slovakia took the lead but the hosts turned the game around with two goals, one being the first for the national team by back Martin Pláněk. Slovakia’s forward Milan Bartovič left it until the 52nd minute to draw level at 2:2 and take the game into extra time.
Hockey fans are fast looking forward to the upcoming Ice Hockey World Championships which begin in May, held this year in the Czech cities of Prague and Ostrava. Hosting a championship means added anticipation over how the home squad will do. Many hope that legendary forward Jaromír Jágr, who is taking part in training camp, will play, and if possible, lead the Czechs to a medal on home ice.
The Montreal Canadiens avoided their first four-game losing streak this season, defeating the Florida Panthers on Sunday by a score of 4:1. The Habs lost their top scorer Max Pacioretty early in the first but others, including the team's Tomáš Plekanec, fought to take control of the match. Plekanec, who has now scored 24 this season, racked up a goal and an assist. With the win, Montreal regained top spot in the Atlantic Division. Florida, the new home to legendary forward Jaromír Jágr, will not play in this year's playoffs.
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