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Sobotka injury may open door for Hudler on Czech roster

Feb 2, 2014, 12:39 PM EDT

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.

  1. lowenni - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    He should’ve never been left off the roster. Hudler is a very underrated offensive force and if he played with more talented players on a different team he would have fantastic numbers and would be much more talked about.

    And although Erat has zero goals this season, he’s still a very good player (or at least has the potential and talent to be one). He could still be a nice addition to a Czech roster that’s a little short on talent anyways, he’s got great wheels for the big ice, is a fantastic passer, and has good defensive instincts which they’ll be losing without Sobotka.

  2. porkypig44 - Feb 2, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    The best guy is vrbata. His skill set would be incredible on the big ice. Czech coach is an idiot to have taken some of the guys on the roster over him… 42 yr old beer leaguer petr nedved? Get serious. Hudler should be on the team but he isn’t even in vrbata’s class

    • lowenni - Feb 2, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      Radim Vrbata would also be a fantastic addition to the team and also has a great skill set, but to say “he isn’t even in Vrbata’s class” is a stretch. Don’t forget Hudler has 5 more points than Vrbata on a MUCH weaker team, and while that isn’t much more, it definitely shows they’re of at least equal talent. Vrbata is a better goal scorer than Hudler, but Hudler is shiftier and faster (which may be more helpful on the big ice). Totally agree that leaving those two off in exchange for players like Nedved is crazy, but give some credit to Hudler, and don’t think that Vrbata is exactly a superstar…

  3. bsaures - Feb 2, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Hudler being left off had nothing to do with his abilities. He doesnt get along with the coach which kept him from being picked

  4. porkypig44 - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    The same is the case apparently for vrbata and the coach not getting along. For 2 weeks they should be able to find a way… Agree that hudler is solid, vrbata is a natural goal scorer. Both should be on the team

  5. dumbassgreg - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    i heard the coaches first choices are anton,peter or marian stastny too play with nedved

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