Josef Vašíček : biography
Josef Vašíček ( 12 September 1980 – 7 September 2011) was a Czech professional ice hockey player. Vasicek last played for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and died when the team's aircraft charter crashed on 7 September 2011. Vasicek played seven seasons in the National Hockey League for the Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators and New York Islanders before moving to Russia in 2008 to play for Yaroslavl.
On 7 September 2011 Vašíček was killed when a Yakovlev Yak-42 passenger aircraft, carrying the entire Lokomotiv team, crashed just outside Yaroslavl, Russia. The team was traveling to Minsk to play their opening game of the season, with its coaching staff and prospects. Lokomotiv officials said "'everyone from the main roster was on the plane plus four players from the youth team were killed.'"
HC Slavia Praha
Vasicek played with HC Slavia Praha under 17 team in 1996–97, recording 20 goals and 60 points in 37 games. In 1997–98, Vasicek moved up to the Praha's junior team, where he had 13 goals and 33 points in 34 games. He was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the fourth round, 91st overall pick in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.
During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Vasicek played with HC Slavia Praha, scoring 20 goals and 43 points in 52 games to lead the club in scoring. In seven playoff games, Vasicek had a goal and seven points.
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
After being drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes, Vasicek made the move to North America, and joined the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. in the 1998–99 season, Vasicek scored 21 goals and 56 points in 66 games, helping the team to the playoffs. In five post-season games, Vasicek had three goals.
He returned to the Greyhounds for the 1999–2000 season, as Vasicek improved his offensive numbers to 26 goals and 72 points in 54 games to finished second in team scoring. In the playoffs, Vasicek had five goals and a team high 20 points in 17 games. Vasicek was named to the third all-star team after the season.
After having a solid training camp, Vasicek made the Carolina Hurricanes, and spent the entire 2000–01 season with the NHL team. Vasicek played in his first NHL game on 7 October 2000, getting no points in a 3–3 tie against the Washington Capitals. He scored his first NHL goal on 13 October 2000, beating Trevor Kidd of the Florida Panthers in a 2–2 tie. Vasicek finished his rookie season with eight goals and 21 points in 76 games. He played in his first ever playoff game on 12 April 2001, scoring a goal against Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils in a 5–1 loss. In six playoff games, Vasicek had two goals.
Vasicek improved offensively in 2001–02, as in 78 games, he scored 14 goals and 31 points to finished seventh in Hurricanes scoring. In the playoffs, Vasicek had three goals and five points in 23 games, helping the Hurricanes to the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost in five games to the Detroit Red Wings.
Vasicek had an injury plagued 2002–03 season, as he missed 25 games due to injuries. In 57 games played, he had 10 goals and 20 points, as Carolina failed to make the playoffs. On 22 January 2003, Vasicek had his first multi-goal game in the NHL, scoring twice against Olaf Kolzig of the Washington Capitals in a 5–3 loss.
He had his best NHL season with the Hurricanes in 2003–04, as Vasicek appeared in all 82 games, scoring 19 goals and 45 points to lead the team in scoring. Vasicek recorded his first NHL hat trick on 28 October 2003, scoring three goals against Vesa Toskala of the San Jose Sharks in a 3–0 victory. The Hurricanes struggled, and missed the playoffs for the second straight season.
During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Vasicek returned to HC Slavia Praha, where he scored 20 goals and 43 points in 52 games to lead that team in scoring. In seven playoff games, Vasicek had a goal and seven points.
When the NHL resumed play in 2005–06, Vasicek returned to the Hurricanes. In a game on 11 November 2005 against the Florida Panthers, Vasicek suffered a major knee injury, and remained out of the Carolina lineup until 3 April 2006. In his first game back, Vasicek had two goals and four points in a 6–5 win over the Washington Capitals. Overall, Vasicek appeared in 23 games, scoring four goals and nine points. In eight playoff games, Vasicek had no points, however, the Hurricanes won the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals over the Edmonton Oilers. On 18 July 2006 the Hurricanes traded Vasicek to the Nashville Predators for Scott Walker.
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