The newly-formed hockey club Lev Praha has made its debut in the Kontinental Hockey League. The first Czech-based team to join the KHL got two wins out of its three home games before setting off on a tour of Russia and Belarus. But has the new club also succeeded in bringing Czech hockey fans to see KHL action in Prague?
Czech hockey player František Kaberle, a five-time world champion and a Stanley Cup winner, has ended his career. The 38-year-old defenceman, who in the last season played for HC Plzeň in the Czech top division, said a series of minor injuries prevented him from getting fully into training. In the NHL, Kaberle played for the Atlanta Thrashers, the Los Angeles Kings and the Carolina Hurricanes with whom he won the Stanley Cup before returning to the Czech Republic in 2009. As part of the Czech national team, František Kaberle also won a bronze medal at the 2006 winter Olympics in Torino.
Three streets in Prague’s Dolní Chabry district will be named after Czech hockey players who lost their lives in the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl tragedy last year. Josef Vašíček, Jan Marek, Karel Rachůnek and 40 others (including crew members) on board their plane died at the scene when the aircraft crashed during take-off; one of two survivors died later in hospital. All three of the Czech players were added to the Czech Hockey Hall of Fame last year; the decision to name streets in their honour was taken by the Prague council.
For 20 years there was only one route for world class Czech ice hockey players – west. But since the creation of the Continental Hockey League in Russia 4 years ago, this once clear system is being ever more distorted. Increasing numbers of European and even American stars now decide to head east rather than into the NHL and it is not only players that seem to be flocking to the Eurasian league, but teams as well. Most recently the first Czech club to join was HC Lev Praha.
In this week's Sports News: the Czech Olympic women’s basketball team suffers defeat by China; cancer survivor and badminton player Petr Koukal loses his first two Olympics matches; tennis star Tomáš Berdych crashes out of the Olympics; Petra Kvitová survives an early scare; the Czech women's beach volleyball duo fight back to secure victory and Jakub Voráček signs a four year contract with NHL team Philadelphia Flyers.
In this week's Sports News: Dominik Hašek is named the greatest ever European ice hockey player; Czech Záhlavová-Strýcová is beaten in the Italiacom Open finals; Czech Olympic javelin hopeful performs in pre-Olympic tournament; police close the case of death of Rally Bohemia navigator and Czech wins third stage in Tour de Pologne cycle competition.
In this week's Sports News, Petra Kvitová to play crucial fourth round match at Wimbledon; Czech players on the move in the NHL; two local ice-hockey teams form a business partnership; five medals for Czechs at the European Athletics Championships and the national women's basketball team qualifies at the eleventh hour for the London Olympics.
In Sports News: the Czech national football team arrives in Poland ahead of Euro 2012; in hockey, the L.A. Kings have won the first two games of Stanley Cup finals against the New Jersey Devils, lessening the chance the cup will travel to the Czech Republic this year; in tennis, world No. 4 Petra Kvitová and fellow Czech player Klára Zakopalová have both made it to the fourth round at the French Open.