Monday, July 11, 2011
Sad news from the Czech Republic -- media reports say that Jaroslav Jiřík, once of the St. Louis Blues and the first Czech-trained player in the NHL, died in a small plane crash today.
His North American career was minor -- three NHL games, no points, most of the season spent in the minors -- and he went back to Czechoslovakia after one year (later saying he should have given it more time). His career in Europe was pretty magnificent, though. Nearly 20 seasons with Kladno and Brno, more than 300 goals, three Olympics and seven World Championships. Rest in peace.