Embroiled in a scandal over allegedly bribing parents of players to join his pro squad that he both co-owns and coaches, Vladimír Růžička, the star Czech forward turned coach, has stepped down both from his club, HC Slavia Praha, as well as from the Czech national side.
Růžička, who has denied the charges against him, but stepped down in order to continue clearing his name, leaves less than a month following his team’s disappointing fourth place finish at the World Championships in Prague, failing to medal in front of a raucous home crowd. Coaching the national team, Ruzicka has led the Narodnitym to World Championship Gold in 2005 and 2010, and coached the national side from 2003-05, 2009-10, and again from 2014-15.
As a player, Růžička won a number of international accolades (as well as IHLC titles) in his 11 year career in both the NHL and Czech Extraliga, playing in five World Championships, three Olympics and two Canada Cups for Czechoslovakia and Czechia, winning Gold at both the 1985 World Championships and as the captain for the 1998 Nagano Olympic team that shocked the world en route to Gold.
We will continue to provide updates on this story as more news is released.