Václav Nedomanský

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Václav Nedomanský
Born (1944-03-14) March 14, 1944 (age 70)
Hodonín, Bohemia and Moravia
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Played for Slovan Bratislava
Toronto Toros
Birmingham Bulls
Detroit Red Wings
St. Louis Blues
New York Rangers
National team  Czechoslovakia
Playing career 1962–1983

Václav Nedomanský (born March 14, 1944 in Hodonín, Bohemia and Moravia (now Czech Republic), is a former hockey forward. Nedomanský is best known as the first hockey player to defect to North America to play.[1]

Playing in Czechoslovakia[edit]

Olympic medal record
Men's ice hockey
Competitor for  Czechoslovakia
Silver 1968 Grenoble Team
Bronze 1972 Sapporo Team

Nedomanský played for Slovan Bratislava of the Czechoslovak Extraliga for twelve seasons. In 1968 he was a member of the Czechoslovak national ice hockey team which won silver medals at the Winter Olympics in Grenoble and bronze medals in 1972 at the Winter Olympics in Sapporo. He also played for Czechoslovakia in nine IIHF World Championships, and was named top forward at the 1974 world championships [1]. He is manager of the Slovak national team in North America.

Career after defection[edit]

Nedomanský defected in 1974 to Toronto via Switzerland.[2] He was not able to return to his home country until after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

He played just over three seasons in the World Hockey Association with the Toronto Toros and the Birmingham Bulls, peaking with 56 goals and 98 points for Toronto in 1975–76. He also won the Paul Deneau Trophy for sportsmanship in 1975–76. He then signed as a free agent with the National Hockey League's Detroit Red Wings in 1977. Nedomanský played five seasons for Detroit, posting highs of 38 goals and 74 points. He retired after one final season with the St. Louis Blues and the New York Rangers in 1982–83.

Nedomanský coached in Germany and Austria from 1987 to 1991.

He was born in Hodonin, in eastern Moravia in the present-day Czech Republic but very close to the Slovak border. Today, he claims to feel more Slovak than Czech, having lived in Bratislava for a number of years.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ NHL.com, NHL - International timeline
  2. ^ George Gross, "Czech Hockey Star Defects to Canada", front page of The Toronto Sun July 18, 1974 (Vol. 3, No. 182). See also pp. 3 and 32-33.

External links[edit]