Ladislav Lubina, the Czech winger who captured a number of medals for the Narodnitym throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, today sadly passed away from brain cancer at the age of 54.
Coming up from the HC Pardubice youth system, Lubina debuted for the senior team in 1984, spending 20 seasons in the Czech Extraliga both as part of the former Czechoslovakia and the new country of Czechia. Lubina would spend sixteen seasons with Pardubice over various stints, seeing stops in the Czech league in Jihlava and Trinec, as well as across Europe with stints in Finland (Reipas), Germany (Kaufbeuren, Lausitzer) and Switzerland (Zug, Martigny). Lubina was a two-time Czechoslovak Extraliga Champion (1987, 1989), as well as Czech Extraliga Champion in 2005, winning the league scoring title in 1991 and league MVP in 2003. Lubina followed his playing career with a nearly fiftene year coaching career, serving as Head Coach across various league levels in his native Czechia, Slovakia and Kazakhstan.
Debuting with the Czechoslovakian under-18 team, Lubina debuted at his first of three consecutive World Junior Championships in 1985, capturing Silver in 1985 and 1987. He made his senior tournament debut at the 1987 Canada Cup, later making his World Championship debut in 1990. Lubina would play at four Worlds, capturing a trio of Bronzes in 1990, 1992 and 1998, the latter as part of the separate Czech team, and played at the 1992 Albertville Olympics, capturing Bronze as well. Lubina also had the unique distinction of playing at the only hockey tournament of the Goodwill Games in 1990, finishing fifth.
Our condolences go out to the Lubina family, as well as the extended hockey community across the former Czechoslovakia, on the tragic death of an international star far too young.