According to multiple reports, 42-year-old Petr Nedved has retired from hockey after his Czech Extraliga team, HC Bili Tygri Liberec, was elminated from the playoffs.
He made the announcment yesterday, and the Czech hockey pioneer expressed his emotions after finally leaving professional hockey after more than 23 years; “I can hardly find anything as beautiful as hockey in my life,” he said. His retirement comes one month after representing Czech Republic in the Olympics one more time in Sochi.
Ironically, Nedved actually played for Team Canada in 1994 at the Lillehammer Olympics because he obtained his Canadian citizenship while not playing and having a contract dispute with the Vancouver Canucks during the 1993-94 season (NHL players didn’t play in the 1994 Olympics). Since he wasn’t playing with the Canucks, Nedved could play for Canada and help them capture a silver medal. After getting traded to the St. Louis Blues at that year’s trade deadline, his NHL career took off and put up a remarkable 717 points and 989 games with the Canucks, Blues, Penguins, Rangers, Oilers, Coyotes, and Flyers. He then went to the Czech Extraliga after the 2006-07 season to finish his career in his now democratic home country of Czech Republic.
After being a part of the Czech hockey glory days of the late-90s and early-2000s, which included the likes of superstars Jaromir Jagr, Dominik Hasek, and Patrik Elias, Nedved saw his coutry do poorly in the past two Olympics. However, there is hope for the hockey country after the rise of young players Tomas Hertl, Jakub Voracek, and 2014 draft-eligibles David Pastrnak and Jakub Vrana.