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Jaroslav Jirik, 1st Czech in the NHL, dies at 71

Jaroslav Jirik, 1st Czech in the NHL, dies at 71

Jaroslav Jirik, the first Czech who was officially allowed to play in the NHL during the country's communist era, has died. He was 71.
Officials say Jirik died Monday in a crash of his ultralight plane in the city of Brno, some 200 kilometers (125 miles) southeast of Prague.
Police say Jirik's one-seat plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the Brno Medlanky airport and caught fire.
The Light Aircraft Association of the Czech Republic confirmed Jirik was killed in the crash.
Born Dec. 10, 1939, Jirik was the first ice hockey player from a communist country to be allowed by authorities to join an NHL club.
The right winger played only three matches for the St. Louis Blues in the 1969-70 season and spent most of the season with the Kansas City Blues in a minor league.


Updated : 2021-04-15 00:48 GMT+08:00