Jaromír Jágr is to be the public face of the ice hockey tournament at Beijing’s Winter Olympic Games in 2022. Jágr thus joins Canadian legend Wayne Gretzky among the personalities that are helping prepare and develop Chinese ice hockey. But it is not only on the level of personalities that cooperation is growing.
Tomáš Plekanec became the 11th Czech ice hockey player to reach 1,000
games in the NHL when he appeared for Montreal Canadiens in their 7:3 win
over Detroit Red Wings on Monday. The forward garnished the landmark
appearance with his first goal of the season.
Plekanec, who is 35, joined Montreal Canadiens in the 2001 draft and made his NHL debut for the club in the 2005–2006 season.
The ice hockey Extraliga season starts on September 14, with Kometa Brno
the favourite, having won the past two seasons. Among the other clubs in
the 14-member Extraliga with solid prospects this year are 2018 season
finalists Oceláři Třinec and semi-finalists Bílí Tygři Liberec.
Sparta Praha, which finished in the bottom half last year has taken on a new coach, German former defenseman Uwe Krupp, are tipped as likely strong contenders, as are Škoda Plzeň, which won the championship in 2013, finished last season in third place, and also has a new coach, Ladislav Čihák.
In Sports News this week: Seven Czechs to appear in first round of Wimbledon on Monday; Kvitová replaces Plíšková as Czech top seed in WTA rankings; Czechs take three medals at Canoe Slalom World Cup in Krakow; NHL: St-Louis trades Vladimir Sobotka to Buffalo Sabres; Tomáš Plekanec returns to Canadiens.
In the Czech Republic, ice hockey – not football – is arguably the national sport. Hockey has been a part of the culture since the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, with the first league founded 110 years ago. With traditions running deep, it’s no wonder opinion is so passionately divided over the design of the new Czech Ice Hockey Association jersey.
Opinion has been divided by the new strip of the Czech national ice hockey
team, which sees the traditional state symbol replaced by a large
illustration of a lion wearing a crown.
The vast majority of respondents in a poll by the iDnes.cz news site said they did not like the national team’s new look, while the Czech player of the season David Pastrňák said he didn’t understand it and goaltender Ondřej Pavelec described it as a disgrace.
In contrast Martin Nečas, who was part of the Czech squad at this year’s world championships, said the jerseys were far nicer than the old ones. Now retired ice hockey great Patrik Eliáš said the lion was a national symbol and it was a great idea to use it as the symbol of the Czech team.
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