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Frantisek Cernik
Frantisek Cernik
Left Wing
Number: 21
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 189
Shoots:
Born: Jun 3, 1953
Birthplace: Novy Jicin, Czech Republic
Acquired: Signed as a free agent by Detroit on July 5, 1983.
Frantisek Cernik grew up playing hockey in his native Czech Republic, joining the elite junior ranks in 1968-69 at the age of 15 with Bank Ostrava. The next four years were spent with TJ Vitkovice before he advanced to the senior team from 1973-75.

From 1976 through 1984, Cernik played primarily with Dukla Jilhava and TJ Vitkovice while also representing the Czech Republic on the national team at numerous World Championships and the 1984 Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo. He was also a member of the 1976 Czech team which lost a thrilling championship final against Team Canada in the former Canada Cup, now known as the World Cup of Hockey.

Cernik's entire NHL career took place in 1984-85, with the Detroit Red Wings. He originally signed as a free agent with the Quebec Nordiques on September 17, 1979, but never did report to the team. Four years later he had signed with the Red Wings as a free agent on July 3, 1983. In 49 games with the Wings, Cernik contributed five goals and nine points. Cernik, who had always been known as a strong two-way player in international hockey, seemed to have a tough time adjusting to the smaller NHL ice surfaces and never really was able to adapt to the style of game.

In 1985-86, Cernik opted to play a season in Germany with ESV Kaufbeuren. In 40 games, he scored 23 times and counted 67 points. He then moved to Austria where he played for two years. Ironically, his final pro season in 1987-88 was by far his best in terms of points production. As a leader with EC Graz, Cernik potted a league-high 64 goals and 104 points in just 30 games.

Cernik still lives in the Czech Republic with his family and now serves as the general manager for the country's national team which competes at the World Championships and the Olympics.

Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame

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