Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nedvěd captains Czechs at Karjala Cup


Petr Polák and Derek O'Brien
Eurohockey.com

Fifteen years after he last played international hockey, Petr Nedvěd will captain the Czech Republic at the Karjala Cup in Helsinki, Finland and Örnsköldsvik, Sweden from November 10 to 13.

Petr Nedvěd at the 1994 Winter Olympics. Photo: Claus
Anderson, Canadian Olympic Committee, CP .
Nedvěd, who will turn 40 on December 9, will be the oldest player in the tournament, but that is not the only reason to be surprised by his presence on the Czech national team. The other reason is because although Nedvěd is Czech-born, he also has a Canadian passport and he played for Team Canada at the 1994 Winter Olympics. According to IIHF rules, this prevented him from wearing the jersey of the Czech national team. Until now.

Although he did play for the Czech Republic at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, that tournament is organised by the NHL and NHLPA, and not subject to IIHF eligibility restrictions.

The IIHF rules make an allowance for a player to change his country of affiliation if he abstains from international hockey for a period of at least four years, while playing for a club in a country where he holds citizenship during that time. Nedvěd returned from the NHL to play in the Czech Extraliga in 2007, first with Sparta Praha and then with Bílí Tygři Liberec, so there is no other obstacle preventing him from representing the Czech Republic again.

“Coach Alois Hadamczik surprised me," Nedvěd said to iDnes.cz.“I did not even know that this possibility existed. I thought I would never be able to play for the Czechs again because of my appearance on Team Canada and because of my age."

But as Hadamczik told iDnes.cz, Nedvěd was not the only veteran that he considered for the team. "The young guys simply are not as good as the older players. I was also thinking about Viktor Ujčík (39), Radek Bonk (35) and Jan Peterek (40). In the end, only Nedvěd appears on the final roster."

Nedvěd, who considered retirement in the off-season, is the current leader in points (26), goals (11) and assists (15) in the Czech Extraliga.

The Czech team will wear patches on their jerseys remembering the September tragedy involving the Yaroslavl KHL team and Czech national team players Karel Rachůnek, Jan Marek and Josef Vašíček. Rachůnek’s brother Ivan will play in the Karjala Cup.

The Karjala Cup is the first leg of the 2011-12 Euro Hockey Tour. Most of the games will be televised in the Czech Republic on ČT4 Sport and will be available online at ct24.cz/sport.


Here is the roster for the Czech team that will compete at the Karjala Cup (November 10 - 13, 2011, Helsinki, Finland and Örnsköldsvik, Sweden):

Goaltenders:

Jakub Štěpánek
(St. Petersburg, KHL), Jakub Kovář (HC České Budějovice).

Defencemen:

Miroslav Blaťák, Jakub Nakládal
 (both Ufa, KHL), Petr Čáslava (CSKA Moscow, KHL), Martin Ševc (Färjestad, Sweden), Tomáš Mojžíš (Turku, Finland), Marek Trončinský (Bílí Tygři Liberec), Lukáš Zíb (HC Oceláři Třinec).

Forwards:

Petr Nedvěd
(Bílí Tygři Liberec), Jakub Petružálek, Petr Vrána (Khabarovsk, KHL), Jiří Novotný (Astana, KHL), Jakub Klepiš, Marek Kvapil (both Dynamo Moscow, KHL), Petr Průcha (St. Petersburg, KHL), Zbyněk Irgl (Minsk, KHL), Petr Vampola (Timra, Sweden), Aleš Kotalík (HC České Budějovice),  Petr Hubáček (HC Kometa Brno), Petr Koukal (HC Pardubice), Martin Adamský, Jakub Orsava (both HC Oceláři Třinec).


General Manager: Slavomír Lener
Head Coach: Alois Hadamczik
Assistant Coach: Josef Paleček
Team Manager: Jan Černý
Video Coach: Jan Procházka 
Physicians: Dr. Zdeněk Ziegelbauer, Dr. Radomír Holibka 
Physiotherapists: Pavel Kolář, Michal Truc 
Treasurer and Masseur: Zdeněk Šmíd
Masseur: Petr Ondráček
Media Consultant: Zdeněk Zikmund

2011 Karjala Cup schedule (All Times CET):

Thursday, November 10:
18:30 Finland - Russia (Helsinki)
19:00 Sweden - Czech Republic (Örnsköldsvik, ČT4 Sport)

Saturday, November 12:
12:00 Sweden - Russia (Helsinki, ČT4 Sport)
16:00 Finland - Czech Republic (Helsinki, ČT4 Sport)

Sunday, November 13:
12:00 Czech Republic - Russia (Helsinki, ČT4 Sport)
16:00 Finland - Sweden (Helsinki, ČT4 Sport)

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