Saturday, May 22, 2004


Projected Czech Roster for the World Cup of Hockey

As the Czechs are taking their sweet time in choosing their roster, they are already running into difficulties months before the tournament begins.

For one, the »Hasek« quandry. To take, or not to take, the gumby flake?

For two, the fact that many top players will be 'unavailable' for the World Cup tournament.
According to, Robert Reichel and Roman Hamrlik have declined the opportunity to play in the tournament, citing the fact that they want to stay at home with their families. Although Reichel has always left NHL coaches shaking their heads at his lack of assertivness, Reichel has always been a demon on the national stage (much like Martin Rucinsky, who couldn't hit an empty net in his short tenure with the Canucks)

Robert Lang, Roman Cechmanek, and Martin Straka have also been confirmed to be unavailable due to their injury status.

So, that leaves 5 players and one living gumby doll off of the roster? Who would I take?
Knowing that the Czechs will stay from European-based players, here is my predicted roster.

1. Tomas Vokoun
2. Martin Prusek
3. Roman Malek

F. Kaberle - T. Kaberle
Kubina - Kuba
Slegr - Modry
Spacek - Zidlicky

Jagr - Bonk - Havlat
Elias - Prospal - Sykora
Rucinsky - Peter Nedved - Hejduk
Vyborny - Cajanek - Dvorak
Vasicek, Beranek, Dopita

With the absence of Lang, Straka, and Reichel, the Czechs are suddenly much thinner up the middle, which could cost them dearly in the end.
I expect Malek will be the only pure 'Euro' player taken, while ex-NHLers Josef Beranek and Jiri 'The Best Player in Europe' ® Dopita are good candiates to be selected.

No room this time around for up and comers such as Klesla, Erat, Hudler, and Petr Prucha.

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