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A family member instead of an NHL star. Rulík is not the first to divide the public

At the last tournament before the hockey world championship, the performances were supposed to be fine-tuning for the home peak of the season, but instead three defeats and great disappointment came. In addition, Radim Rulík and his implementation team began to be criticized after the nomination for the championship was published. People don’t like that Tomáš Nosek, Jakub Vrána or Radim Zohorna didn’t get a chance. But this is definitely not the first surprise, Rulík’s predecessors did not skimp on those in the past either.

Rulík’s current boss Alois Hadamczik took care of probably the biggest ruckus in the recent past. In 2014, the current head of Czech hockey assembled the team for the Olympics in Sochi, and with his final list, he stirred up the waters of the domestic hockey environment.

At that time, he called the forty-two-year-old Petr Nedvěd from the extra league, who is currently the general manager of the national team, but he shocked the most with the nomination of defender Michal Barinka, a Vítkovic player at the time. At the time, the fans could not forgive the national team coach for preferring his own son-in-law to names from the NHL.

The husband of Hadamczik’s daughter, who collected 15 points in the Vítkovice jersey that season, got into the lineup ahead of Jan Hejda from Colorado, Jakub Kindle from Detroit, Roman Polák from St. Louis or Radek Martínek from the New York Islanders.


Czech striker Tomáš Hertl made his debut in the Vegas jersey.

Hertl has finished the season and is available for the national team. The health and willingness of Vegas will decide

“I haven’t even put on the national team jersey yet, I haven’t gone out on the ice, but I was still a big enemy of Czech hockey day by day. Okay, I’m going to screw it up, we’re not going to make it, so give me a hard time. But why now? I didn’t understand that,” said Barinka before leaving for the Olympics in an interview for Deník.

But this was not Hadamczik’s only move, which at the time came under great scrutiny from Czech fans. They also pondered over the omission of Martin Havlát, Radim Vrbata, Martin Erat or Jiří Hudler. At the same time, the last-named collected a great 54 points in the NHL in the Calgary jersey.

Hudler then wore the national team jersey at least for the World Cup, added three more seasons in the NHL and gradually disappeared from the hockey world. And the national team? The Czechs only beat Latvia in the group, lost to Sweden and Switzerland and finished third. In the round of 16, they went over Slovakia after a 5:3 win, but in the quarterfinals they were not enough against the USA and they said goodbye to the tournament with a 2:5 defeat. Barinka played three matches under the five rings and did not gain points, Hadamczik resigned shortly after the Olympics.

But even his successors did not avoid criticism of the player nomination. Vladimír Růžička solved the goalkeeping dilemma a year later when he chose between the quartet of Jakub Kovář, Alexander Salák, Ondřej Pavelec and Pavel Francouz. In particular, he angered the Litvín fans when he finally did not take the phantom of the extra-league season of the Frenchman, who led North Bohemia to the championship, to the home championship. The uncertain Salák, who started as number one, was replaced after two games by Pavelec, who supported the team for the rest of the tournament. Paradoxically, the shooting impotence, not the goalkeeper, decided the semi-finals and the match for third place. The Czechs did not score a goal in both matches and finished fourth.

70 points were not enough for the nomination

In 2017, Josef Jandač again surprised with a bold move, when he called Jan Rutta from Chomutov into the defense, who he also preferred over Jakub Kindle from Florida. Thanks to the championship, however, Rutta bounced back to a successful career overseas, won two Stanley Cups and should be one of the mainstays of the Czech defense this year.

In the recent past, Filip Pešán received the most criticism for his nomination decision when he was putting together the team for the Olympic Games in 2022. He did not invite to Beijing the most productive player of the extra league, Filip Chlapík, who finished the year with a famous 70 Canadian points, nor the scorer Milan Gulaš, who previously dominated scoring in the Channel One Cup.


Head coach of the national team, Radim Rulík

Hockey nation in shock. Rulík got loaded for the nomination. And the printer? Depressive

“I was pissed off, that’s probably logical. Then, when I knew I wouldn’t go, I stopped thinking about it,” he looked back at his non-nomination in an interview for Deník The Guy himself.

And the result of the Olympics? In the basic group, the Czechs won once in overtime and once on raids and, paradoxically, lost to the weakest Denmark. In the round of 16, they were not good enough for Switzerland, after a 2:4 defeat, they said goodbye to the tournament, and Filip Pešán’s time on the national team bench ended.

However, better times did not come for Chlapík even under the new coach Karim Jalonen. After the famous season, he did not even invite him to the World Championship in 2022. All the diggers forgave the Finnish coach for omitting the most productive extraleague player only when the Czech team brought bronze medals.

It will certainly be the same this year. If Rulík’s choice becomes a success, no one will remember anymore embarrassment over the nomination. But if the team does not do as well as it did at the Czech Hockey Games, everyone will remind the national team coach that he should have put more trust in his NHL reinforcements.

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