Hockey goalie Marek Mazanec, 26, is returning to Europe after signing with Slovan Bratislava in the KHL. The player agreed to a one-year-deal. Four years ago the Písek native, who had helped Plzeň clinch the Extraliga title, departed for the NHL after signing with Nashville. In his first season, he played 25 games with the Predators but then got only six starts over the next three years and played mostly for the club’s farm team in the AHL. He was originally expected to continue with Nashville but opted for Slovan instead.
Czech ice hockey legend Jaromír Jágr’s contract with the Florida Panthers has not been renewed ahead of the new season, meaning he must find a new club. The Panthers announced that the club regretted that it was seeking a new direction which did not include the 45 year old Czech. Local media say the new coach, Bob Boughner, did not see Jágr as part of the future set up. Jágr had wanted to stay on in Florida. He remarked on his Twitter account last week that he had no responses from approaches to various clubs.
Hockey legend Jaromír Jágr, set to be a free agent as of July 1, has tweeted a number of jokes that so far no teams have shown an interest. The player, who is 45, is known for a rigorous training program and has expressed the intention of playing for years to come, posted 46 points this season with the Florida Panthers. Jágr joked that instead of clubs calling him, he was calling them but that no one was picking up.
The Boston Bruins’ David Pastrňák has become the youngest player ever to win the Golden Hockey Stick for best Czech ice hockey player of the year. Speaking at the award ceremony in Prague on Tuesday night, the 21-year-old forward said he had dreamed of winning the poll when he was picked up the junior Golden Hockey Stick two years ago. Twelve-time winner Jaromír Jágr, who is 45, came eighth this year.
In ice hockey, Liberec defender Radim Šimek has signed a one-year contract with San Jose Sharks. According to the website isport.cz, his NHL salary will amount to 830 thousand US dollars. Šimek got offers from other teams, including New York Rangers, but according to his agent Petr Hemský, the Sharks had offered the most flexible contract. Another Czech who currently plays for the San Jose Sharks is forward Tomáš Hertl.
In ice hockey, the Czechs lost their quarter final world championships duel with Russia 0:3. Czech hopes of further progress in the tournament were dented in the first period when Russia took a two gaol lead. In spite of pressure during the second half of the first period and all of the second, the Czechs were unable to find the net. In the third period, Russia extended the lead in the 54th minute with Panarin slotting in from close range past Francouz. The loss means that the Czechs leave the championships for the fifth time in a row without a medal.