Czech Republic loads roster with NHLers

Updated: June 16, 2004, 11:26 AM ET
Associated Press

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- Jaromir Jagr of the New York Rangers and Robert Lang of the Detroit Red Wings will lead the Czech Republic at this year's World Cup of Hockey.

Coach Ivan Hlinka, who led the Czechs to victory at the 1998 Nagano Olympics and took charge of the team again after this month's world championships, announced a 26-man roster Tuesday loaded with NHL players.

Other star forwards on the team include Patrik Elias of the New Jersey Devils and Milan Hejduk of the Colorado Avalanche.

Tomas Vokoun of the Nashville Predators will be the No. 1 goalie, while star defenders include Martin Hamrlik of the New York Islanders and Tomas Kaberle of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Only two members of the team are based in Europe, forwards Jiri Dopita and Tomas Vlasak.

Notable omissions are Detroit goaltender Dominik Hasek, who recently underwent groin surgery, and forwards Petr Sykora of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Radek Bonk of the Ottawa Senators and Petr Nedved of the Edmonton Oilers.

The tournament will be held from Aug. 30 to Sept. 14 at several sites in North America and Europe. The Czechs will be placed in the European Pool, along with Finland, Germany and Sweden.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press