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Former NHL Goalie Roman Cechmanek Dies at 52

Former Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Roman Cechmanek has died at the age of 52, the team announced in a statement shared on its social media accounts Sunday (November 12).

Cechmanek spent three of his four total NHL seasons with the franchise from 2000-03, as well as his final season in the league with the Los Angeles Kings during the 2003-04 campaign. The Czechian goaltender made one All-Star Game appearance during his rookie season and twice won the Flyers' Bobby Clarke Trophy as the team's Most Valuable Player.

“Beyond his numbers, which were outstanding, he was beloved by fans and teammates for his personality, distinct style, and pride in stopping the puck,” Flyers president Keith Jones said in the statement shared on behalf of the team Sunday. “His passing at too young of an age is heartbreaking to us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”

Cechmanek brought an unconventional style to NHL goaltending that is still uncommon to current goaltenders.

“Roman was an acrobat in goal. He would use any part of his body to stop the puck. One of the characters of the game,” said Ken Hitchcock, his former head coach, in a text to Flyers beat reporter Jackie Spiegel of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Cechmanek was selected by the Flyers in the sixth-round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft at the age of 29 following impressive performances at the IIHF World Championships for Czechia and standout play in his domestic league. The goaltender helped Czechia win gold at three times at the World Championships (1996 Austria, 1999 Norway and 2000 Russia) as well as at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics.

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