Czech hockey great Vladimir Zabrodsky dies at 97

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In this May 13, 2013 file photo former Czechoslovakian ice-hockey player Vladimir Zabrodsky, World Champion in 1947 and 1949, poses with his jersey in his home in Stockholm, Sweden. Zabrodsky died on Friday, March 20, 2020 at the age of 97 years. (Vit Simanek/CTK via AP)

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PRAGUE (AP) — Vladimir Zabrodsky, one of the best Czech hockey players in history has died. He was 97.

The Czech Hockey Association said Zabrodsky died on Friday in Sweden where he lived since 1965 when he emigrated from then-communist Czechoslovakia. No details on the cause of death were given.

The prolific center led Czechoslovakia to silver at the 1948 Winter Olympic Games at St. Moritz, Switzerland. He also captained Czechoslovakia to its first title at the 1947 world championship and to another gold at the worlds in 1949.

In his 94 matches for the national team, Zabrodsky scored 158 goals. He added another 306 in the Czechoslovak league.

In a 1998 poll of experts, historians, former players, coaches and referees, Zabrodsky was voted the third best Czech player of the century behind NHL greats Dominik Hasek and Jaromir Jagr.

In 1997, Zabrodsky was inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Hall of Fame.

A talented tennis player, Zabrodsky also represented Czechoslovakia in the Davis Cup in the 1940s and 1950s.

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