Tuesday, September 29, 2009


"But Alex, who was the second guy defected to North America in 1974?" - should ask my readers.

The second one is Czechoslovakian hockey legend VACLAV NEDOMANSKY.
Vaclav was the one of the best European forwards of the late 60s - early 70s. Emotional player he had his best games playing against the Soviets after the USSR's 1968 invasion to Czechoslovakia. He, the Holik brothers and Vlado Dzurilla were the guys who inflamed whole team to play every single game against "the big red machine" like the last battle of their life. "To win or to die" or let me say "to die but to win" was the main and only idea for them facing Russians since 1968 for the next two decades. Even Jaromir Jagr are wearing his number 68 in memory of this sad event.
But let me bring you back to 70s. It was the era of the Soviet - Maoist China conflict. It wasn't an ideology confrontation only. It came to some real fights at some boarder regions. One of them, the most famous at this time, was DOMANSKY Peninsula.
So it was a joke spread out, like we in the Soviet Union has two problems by this time - "DOMANSKY and ...NEDOMANSKY"

The Vaclav name was literally erased from every hockey book, article or broadcasting. There were no information on how he is doing, how he is playing, even was he alive at all. Simply, nothing.
In 1983 I was attending some games of World Junior, sitting at VIP sector of "Lenin SKK Arena", trying to enjoy the games.
Why "trying"? I have our hockey legend Boris Majorov sitting one row down and talking no stop to his friend. He missed the goal Czechoslovakia scored on Canada just saying "not the first, not the last..." but in five minutes I was rewarded. His friend asked Majorov about Nedomancky. "He is playing with Detroit", - was the answer.

I have got this info confirmed in seven years only...


  1. i was always wondering who else was offered to play overseas among czechs in 1974 besides nedo and farda. i am sure bill harris had something to do with it, he knew euro hockey really well and certainly could project that these guys could do well overseas. still who else? any thoughts?

  2. So you mean the WHA (as you mentioned Bill Harris). Let me think about it. First guess, the goalie on my photo probably started this contacts in 1974 as during 1976 he defected to Canada. Who else...let me check one source.

  3. No, Arthur, I failed to find any additional info. I have checked WHA 74/75 rosters and 1974, 1975 WHA drafts (I think it could give a hint) - no Czech players at all.
    So Farda (66 games, 6 goals, 25 assists, 2 pim)and Nedomansky (78 games, 41 goals, 40 assists, 19 pim) were the only ones who played
    with Toronto Toros 74/75.
    By the way, Nedomansky finished second (goals) and third (assists) within Toros...

  4. i actually meant not who signed with the wha or nhl but who else they tried to convince to defect to the west in 1974. ok, farda and nedo agreed but were there someone who said "no".

  5. Sure, my thought was - they could drafted the players whom they started to talk.