Jan Suchý, the Czech defenceman who anchored some of the most successful club and international teams in the history of the Czech hockey program, and is both a member of the IIHF and Czech Hockey Hall of Fame, today passed away at age 76.
Starting his pro career in 1961 with his hometown HC Havlíčkův Brod in the Czech second division, Suchý joined the Top Division squad Dukla Jihlava in 1963, where he would stay for sixteen consecutive seasons until 1979, anchoring the squad to six consecutive Extraliga championships, and seven out of eight years (1967-72, 1974). Suchý would also win league MVP honours in 1969 and 1970, leading the league in points in 1969. Suchý would spend the sundown years of his career further west, spending two years each with Stadlau (Austria), Kaufbeuren and Landsberg (both Germany), and playing his final season with Mödling of the Austrian Second Division in 1983-84. Suchý would return later in life to Havlíčkův Brod as Team President, serving for three seasons from 2017-20.
Suchý debuted for the Czechoslovak national team in 1964, spending the next seven seasons with the touring squad that participated at the World Championships to conclude each season. Suchý would compete at seven World Championships, capturing four Silver medals (1965, 1966, 1971, 1974) and two Bronze medals (1969, 1970), along with a Silver from the 1968 Grenoble Olympics. Suchý made the World Championship all star team on five consecutive occasions (1967-71), and was named to the IIHF Hall of Fame prior to the 2009 World Championships.
Our condolences go out to the Suchý family, as well as the extended hockey community across the former Czechoslovakia, on the death of this legendary international hockey star.