In Sports News this Monday: The end of the NHL lockout means an exodus of stars from the Czech Extraliga – Jaromír Jágr says “it’s been great”, while the Kladno coach says the players’ presence did a lot for the domestic game; Lukáš Bauer is weighing up participation in the Jizerská padesátka after a tough Tour de Ski; and Petra Kvitová’s season has got off to a poor start.
End of NHL lockout spells exodus of Jágr and other stars from Extraliga
In a post on his Facebook page, Jágr wrote “thanks for everything – it was great.” One of those he and Kladno’s other NHL returnees are leaving behind in the club’s changing room is Marek Černošek. The defender says their departure was inevitable.
“In reality, we expected it. There were several deadlines by which they were expected to agree – it was just a question of when the decision would be made. But the players’ presence was a boon to the Extraliga. There was suddenly more interest in hockey, and it was something extra for us too: playing with them and having them in the locker room wasn’t something that happens every day.”
While Jágr has said he hopes to play for Kladno one last time on Tuesday, neither he, Jiří Tlustý nor Tomáš Plekanec were in the line-up on Sunday evening when the team lost 4:1 to Plzeň. Despite what could be construed as an instant downturn in Kladno’s fortunes, coach Zdeněk Vojta says the NHL players’ presence has only been a good thing.
Perhaps surprisingly, the coach of the Czech national side, Alois Hadamczik has welcomed the end of the lockout. Hadamczik says at least now everything is clearer.