Tributes come in for 52-year-old goaltender Roman Čechmánek

Photo: Jaroslav Ožana, ČTK

Former Czech ice hockey goaltender Roman Čechmánek, Olympic champion from Nagano and three-time world champion, died on Sunday at the age of 52.

Čechmánek was a substitute for Dominik Hašek at the Nagano Olympics and won world championship titles in 1996, 1999 and 2000. He also won five Extraliga titles with his home club of Vsetín.

The native of Zlín, who faced serious financial problems in recent years, spent four seasons in the NHL, playing for the Philadelphia Flyers, where he was drafted in 2000. He retired from playing in 2009.

Tributes have been coming in for Čechmánek, with Flyers president Keith Jones expressing that “beyond his numbers, which were outstanding, he was beloved by fans and teammates for his personality, distinct style and pride in stopping the puck.”

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Authors: Amelia Mola-Schmidt, Ruth Fraňková