According to reports out of the Czech Republic, coach Alois Hadamczik has resigned from that position with the team following the Czechs sixth-place finish in Sochi.
While they made it as far as the quarterfinals before losing to the United States, the team was wrought with controversial choices for the roster as well as Hadamczik’s methods and decisions behind the bench.
During the Games, there were reports of dysfunction in the Czech locker room and while those reports were denied, the team’s play on the ice pointed towards there being other problems.
Of course, if you ask Hadamczik about why he’s stepping down, he has other ideas about why.
Darn that media for rising up against the coach who happened to pick Michal Barinka, his son-in-law, instead of taking St. Louis Blues defenseman Roman Polak.
Forward Martin Hanzal was scratched in the opening game of the Olympic tournament for the Czech Republic against Sweden. At the time, it was believed he was sitting out because he was feeling under the weather, like teammate Radko Gudas was doing.
It turns out that’s not the case. Elliotte Friedman of CBC reports a Czech official said Hanzal had no injury and it was coach Alois Hadamczik’s decision to sit him.
Opting to sit Hanzal goes on a growing list of curious decisions made by the Czechs concerning the Olympic team.
It started with the choices made for the team when forwards Jiri Hudler and Radim Vrbata were not chosen to represent the country. Then, forward Martin Erat was selected over both of those players to replace Vladimir Sobotka who couldn’t play because of an injury.
Top that off with Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec not even dressing against Sweden and the fact that defenseman Michal Barinka is married to coach Hadamczik’s daughter and you’ve got quite the curious situation all around.
If the Czechs wind up out of the tournament early, there will be a lot of fingers being pointed around the room.
The Czechs next game is against Latvia on Friday at 3 a.m. ET.
Vladimir Sobotka landed on injured reserve for the St. Louis Blues with a leg injury that will knock him out of the Olympics. That opens the door for another player to join the Czech Republic roster and it could be Calgary’s Jiri Hudler.
Olympic coach Alois Hadamczik told TV NOVA in the Czech Republic (via Roman Jedlicki) that Hudler may be the leading candidate to replace Sobotka on the Czech roster.
Yes, Capitals forward Martin Erat, he of zero goals in 47 games this season, could also get the call. As for the other players mentioned, here’s what their story is:
Tomas Rolinek — 33-year-old currently with Praha in the Czech league and was on the 2010 Olympic team.
Jan Kovar — 23-year-old forward currently with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the KHL and has 66 points in 50 games.
Zbynek Irgl — 33-year-old forward with Dinamo Minsk in the KHL. He has 18 points in 46 games.
Interesting choices abound, but Hudler’s omission from the roster in the first place was a surprise. He would seem like the logical choice, but Rolinek could be the “safe” selection for the Czechs.