International Ice Hockey Federation

Ruzicka stays

Ruzicka stays

Czech coach signs for another year

Published 16.03.2015 17:31 GMT+1 | Author Derek O'Brien
Ruzicka stays
Vladimir Ruzicka behind the bench of the Czech national team during the 2010 IIHF World Championship that ended with gold for his team. Photo: Jukka Rautio / HHOF-IIHF Images
At Monday's press conference, the Czech Ice Hockey Association announced that Vladimir Ruzicka will remain head coach of the national team in 2015/2016.

The timing of the announcement comes a little bit of a surprise. Although the CIHA has long stood behind Ruzicka, the coach himself earlier stated that a decision about next season likely wouldn't come until after the World Championship in May on home ice in Prague and Ostrava. In the event that the Czech team did not contend for a medal, it likely would have meant he would leave the team.

Now the situation is different. CIHA president Tomas Kral announced to the assembled journalists that Ruzicka will be back for the 2015/2016 season, regardless of the outcome of the upcoming World Championship. However, the contract extension was contingent on some changes.

Ruzicka was clear about one point – in addition to his work with the national team, he wants to be free to coach another club. He found that the number of games the national team plays during the season isn't enough.

“That was my condition, which was met,” Ruzicka said of the changes that he'd like to see next season. “I can't continue doing it this way. I stood behind the bench only eight times the whole season, which isn't enough for me. We'll see if something arises.”

Currently, his involvement with any club in particular is nothing more than speculation. Earlier there were reports that Russian club Avangard Omsk was interested in the Czech coach. However, the Olympic champion from Nagano says nothing has been confirmed. He didn't deny the report, either, and all doors seem to remain open. When directly asked, he didn't rule out coaching in the Czech Extraliga either.

Continue reading

The decision to take on a new season from another team he led a simple thing - after a year of rest, as Ruzicka describes his year with only the national team on his plate, he wants a greater workload. Working for a club should fulfill this desire.

“I miss doing everyday things with the team. Running practices, games and coaching itself. Just being behind the bench,” Ruzicka said.

In addition to Ruzicka, assistants Ondrej Weissmann and Jaroslav Spacek and goaltending coach Martin Prusek stay for another year. This announcement ensures that Ruzicka's third tour of duty with the Czech national team will last at least one year longer.


Back to Overview