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Vaclav Nedomansky
Vaclav Nedomansky
Center
Number: 20
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 205
Shoots:
Born: Mar 14, 1944
Birthplace: Hodonin, Czech Republic
Hometown: Hodonin. Czech Republic
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Acquired: Traded to Detroit by Birmingham (WHA) with Tim Sheehy for the loan of Steve Durbano and Dave Hanson and future considerations on November 18, 1977.
Nedomansky was born on March 14, 1944 in Hodonin, but throughout his entire Czech career he was in some way tied to Slovan Bratislava, a team where he spent 12 seasons. Had he not decided to go for hockey, he would have made a good soccer player. He even played one match for Slovan in the Czech league. But in the end hockey won out and Nedomansky went on to become practically indispensable to the Czech national team.

Four times he was No. 1 in the league in goals scored. Including his time on the national team, he put 559 shots into the net altogether and led the historic ranking of the Czech Club of League Scorers, which rates players by total goals scored on the professional level. Only Milan Novy and in the 1998-99 season Vladimir Ruzicka have been able to beat him. He played in two Olympics and on 10 World Championship teams, including the one that won the title in 1972. During his career, his name has been linked to most of the successes as well as the failures in Czech hockey. But then one day it all came to an end.

Nedomansky defected in 1974 to Toronto via Switzerland and for three seasons they played for the local Toros and later for the Birmingham Bulls of the WHA. Big Ned, got the Paul Deneau Trophy in 1976 for most gentlemanly player and followed it up with another career move. He transferred to the NHL, playing for Detroit, the New York Rangers and St. Louis, then called it quits at the age of 39.

In 1987-89 he coached the German club Schwenningen, and for one season the Innsbruck hockey club in Austria. He also wrote regular columns for the Swiss magazine Sport. Only after the fall of the Iron Curtain was he able to return to his homeland. By that time he was working as a European talent scout for the Los Angeles Kings.

Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame

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