Josef Vašíček

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Josef Vašíček
Born (1980-09-12)12 September 1980
Havlíčkův Brod, Czechoslovakia
Died 7 September 2011(2011-09-07) (aged 30)
Yaroslavl, Russia
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight 220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Played for Carolina Hurricanes
Cincinnati Cyclones (IHL)
HC Slavia Prague (CzEx)
Nashville Predators
New York Islanders
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL)
National team  Czech Republic
NHL Draft 91st overall, 1998
Carolina Hurricanes
Playing career 2000–2011

Josef Vašíček (English /ˈjsɛf ˈvɑːʃɛk/; 12 September 1980 – 7 September 2011) was a Czech professional ice hockey player. Vasicek last played for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and died when the team's aircraft charter crashed on 7 September 2011. Vasicek played seven seasons in the National Hockey League for the Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators and New York Islanders before moving to Russia in 2008 to play for Yaroslavl.

Playing career[edit]

HC Slavia Praha[edit]

Vasicek played with HC Slavia Praha under 17 team in 1996–97, recording 20 goals and 60 points in 37 games. In 1997–98, Vasicek moved up to the Praha's junior team, where he had 13 goals and 33 points in 34 games. He was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the fourth round, 91st overall pick in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Vasicek played with HC Slavia Praha, scoring 20 goals and 43 points in 52 games to lead the club in scoring. In seven playoff games, Vasicek had a goal and seven points.

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds[edit]

After being drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes, Vasicek made the move to North America, and joined the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. in the 1998–99 season, Vasicek scored 21 goals and 56 points in 66 games, helping the team to the playoffs. In five post-season games, Vasicek had three goals.

He returned to the Greyhounds for the 1999–2000 season, as Vasicek improved his offensive numbers to 26 goals and 72 points in 54 games to finished second in team scoring. In the playoffs, Vasicek had five goals and a team high 20 points in 17 games. Vasicek was named to the third all-star team after the season.

Carolina Hurricanes[edit]

After having a solid training camp, Vasicek made the Carolina Hurricanes, and spent the entire 2000–01 season with the NHL team. Vasicek played in his first NHL game on 7 October 2000, getting no points in a 3–3 tie against the Washington Capitals. He scored his first NHL goal on 13 October 2000, beating Trevor Kidd of the Florida Panthers in a 2–2 tie. Vasicek finished his rookie season with eight goals and 21 points in 76 games. He played in his first ever playoff game on 12 April 2001, scoring a goal against Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils in a 5–1 loss. In six playoff games, Vasicek had two goals.

Vasicek improved offensively in 2001–02, as in 78 games, he scored 14 goals and 31 points to finished seventh in Hurricanes scoring. In the playoffs, Vasicek had three goals and five points in 23 games, helping the Hurricanes to the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost in five games to the Detroit Red Wings.

Vasicek had an injury plagued 2002–03 season, as he missed 25 games due to injuries. In 57 games played, he had 10 goals and 20 points, as Carolina failed to make the playoffs. On 22 January 2003, Vasicek had his first multi-goal game in the NHL, scoring twice against Olaf Kolzig of the Washington Capitals in a 5–3 loss.

He had his best NHL season with the Hurricanes in 2003–04, as Vasicek appeared in all 82 games, scoring 19 goals and 45 points to lead the team in scoring. Vasicek recorded his first NHL hat trick on 28 October 2003, scoring three goals against Vesa Toskala of the San Jose Sharks in a 3–0 victory. The Hurricanes struggled, and missed the playoffs for the second straight season.

During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Vasicek returned to HC Slavia Praha, where he scored 20 goals and 43 points in 52 games to lead that team in scoring. In seven playoff games, Vasicek had a goal and seven points.

When the NHL resumed play in 2005–06, Vasicek returned to the Hurricanes. In a game on 11 November 2005 against the Florida Panthers, Vasicek suffered a major knee injury, and remained out of the Carolina lineup until 3 April 2006. In his first game back, Vasicek had two goals and four points in a 6–5 win over the Washington Capitals. Overall, Vasicek appeared in 23 games, scoring four goals and nine points. In eight playoff games, Vasicek had no points, however, the Hurricanes won the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals over the Edmonton Oilers. On 18 July 2006 the Hurricanes traded Vasicek to the Nashville Predators for Scott Walker.

Nashville Predators[edit]

Vasicek began the 2006–07 season with the Nashville Predators. He made his Predators debut on 5 October 2006, scoring a goal against Nikolai Khabibulin of the Chicago Blackhawks in an 8–6 loss. Vasicek struggled with the Predators, as in 38 games, he had four goals and 13 points. On 9 February 2007 the Predators traded Vasicek back to the Carolina Hurricanes for Eric Belanger.

Carolina Hurricanes[edit]

Vasicek finished the 2006–07 with the Carolina Hurricanes. In his first game back with his original NHL club on 10 February 2007, Vasicek was held pointless in a 5–4 loss to the Minnesota Wild. He recorded his first point on 13 February 2007, recording an assist in a 2–1 win over the Los Angeles Kings, and scored his first goal with Carolina on 27 February 2007 in a 4–2 loss to the Ottawa Senators. Vasicek had a three point game with the Hurricanes on 17 March 2007, scoring a goal and two assists in a 7–2 win over the New Jersey Devils. He finished the season with two goals and nine points in 25 games with Carolina. After the season, Vasicek became an unrestricted free agent.

New York Islanders[edit]

On 15 August 2007, Vasicek signed a 1-year, $750,000 contract with the New York Islanders. He made his Islanders debut on 5 October 2007, scoring a goal against Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres in a 6–4 win. Vasicek had his most productive NHL season since 2003–04, as he scored 16 goals and 35 points in 81 games. After the season, Vasicek became an unrestricted free agent.

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl[edit]

Vasicek joined Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the newly formed KHL for the 2008–09 season. In 56 games, Vasicek had 12 goals and 32 points, helping the team to the playoffs. In 19 playoff games, Vasicek had five goals and 15 points.

He returned to Yaroslavl for the 2009–10 season, as Vasicek improved his offensive numbers to 21 goals and 48 points to lead the team in scoring. In 17 playoff games, Vasicek had six goals and 13 points.

In 2010–11, Vasicek once again improved offensively, scoring 24 goals and 55 points in 54 games, finishing second in team scoring and seventh in league scoring. In 18 playoff games, Vasicek had a league high 22 points, scoring seven goals and adding 15 assists, however, Yaroslavl lost in the Western Conference finals.

Vasicek returned to the club for the 2011–12, however, he was killed in a plane crash with his teammates on 7 September 2011.

International career[edit]

Vasicek played in international hockey tournaments with the Czech Republic. He played in the 2000 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships held in Sweden, scoring a goal and four points in seven games as the Czech Republic won the Gold Medal. Vasicek then appeared in the 2003 IIHF World Championship held in Finland, scoring two assists in nine games as the Czech's finished in fourth place. He played in one game at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, getting no points, as his team won the Bronze Medal. At the 2005 IIHF World Championship played in Austria, Vasicek had a goal and two points, helping the Czech Republic to a Gold Medal. His next international appearance was at the 2009 IIHF World Championship held in Switzerland, as Vasicek had a goal and three points in six games, as the Czech Republic finished in sixth place. In the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver, Canada, Vasicek had no points in five games, as the Czech Republic finished in seventh place.

Personal life[edit]

Vašíček was related by marriage to Buffalo Sabres left wing Thomas Vanek; Vanek's brother is married to Vašíček's sister.[1]

Death[edit]

On 7 September 2011 Vašíček was killed when a Yakovlev Yak-42 passenger aircraft, carrying the entire Lokomotiv team, crashed just outside Yaroslavl, Russia. The team was traveling to Minsk to play their opening game of the season, with its coaching staff and prospects. Lokomotiv officials said "'everyone from the main roster was on the plane plus four players from the youth team were killed.'"[2][3][4][5]

Awards and achievements[edit]

Josef Vašíček
Medal record
Competitor for  Czech Republic
Ice hockey
World Championships
Gold 2005 Austria
World Junior Championships
Gold 2000 Sweden

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1998–99 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 66 21 35 56 30 5 3 0 3 10
1999–00 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 54 26 46 72 49 17 5 15 20 8
2000–01 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 76 8 13 21 53 6 2 0 2 0
2000–01 Cincinnati Cyclones IHL 3 0 0 0 0
2001–02 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 78 14 17 31 53 23 3 2 5 12
2002–03 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 57 10 10 20 33
2003–04 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 82 19 26 45 60
2004–05 HC Slavia Prague CzEx 52 20 23 43 42 7 1 6 7 10
2005–06 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 23 4 5 9 8 8 0 0 0 2
2006–07 Nashville Predators NHL 38 4 9 13 29
2006–07 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 25 2 7 9 22 0 0 0 0 0
2007–08 New York Islanders NHL 81 16 19 35 53
2008–09 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl KHL 56 12 20 32 81 19 5 10 15 20
2009–10 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl KHL 56 21 27 48 54 17 6 7 13 26
2010–11 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl KHL 54 24 31 55 34 18 7 15 22 16
NHL totals 460 77 106 183 311 37 5 2 7 14
KHL totals 166 57 78 135 169 54 18 32 50 62

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sabre Family Tie to Russian Hockey Team Crash. WBEN. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  2. ^ "First pictures from the crash of Yak-42 near Yaroslavl". Lifenews.ru. September 7, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ "The list of Lokomotiv players who died". Lifenews.ru. September 7, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Pavol Demitra among 43 killed in Russian plane crash". The Globe and Mail (Canada). September 7, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Russian Team Carrying KHL Team Crashes". Tumfweko. Tumfweko. September 7, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2011. 

External links[edit]