Saturday, June 6, 2009
Born on this date in 1963, Vladimír Růžička was twice named top player on the Czechoslovak Elite Legaue, winning the league scoring title five times. He played for Czechoslovakia in the World Championships five times, winning Gold in 1985, the Canada Cup twice and the Olympics three times - twice for Czechoslovakia and once for the Czech Republic - winning a Gold Medal in the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
In addition, he played five seasons in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators, with his best season being 75 points with Boston in 1991-92.
Currently, he is the head coach of both HC Slavia Prague in the Czech Extraliga and the Czech National Team, coaching the National Team to the Gold Medal in the World Championships in 2005.
Today's featured jersey is a Tackla 1989 Czechoslovakia National Team Vladimír Růžička jersey and is another jersey that was part of a set a collector had made of various team captains from the 1989 World Championships. The jerseys were sold individually in an online auction, and while we was able to win the Germany, Czechoslovakia, Soviet Union, Sweden and USA jerseys, we were unfortunately outbid on the Dale Hawerchuk Canada jersey, sadly breaking up the set. We were unable to determine if there were jerseys made for Finland and Poland, the other participants in the 1989 World Championships.
This beautiful jersey features the vibrant colors of the dye-sublimation process and the arresting graphics of the era with the colors of the Czechoslovakian flag waving across the body and sleeves, as well as the distinctive Tackla diamond logos on the shoulders and drop shadow block font for the numbers. Note the unusual placement of the captain's "C".
It never ceases to amaze us the things you can find on YouTube. Here we were hoping to find perhaps some sort of Bruins highlight where Ruzicka makes a brief appearance, and instead we find this absolute gem, a career video highlight package, complete with actually listenable music, and not one of the many "slideshows set to music" found on YouTube.
Be sure to note all the cool jerseys Ruzicka wore throughout his international career. One can only hope that he got to keep a few of them!
If you happen to be the owner of the Hawerchuk Canada jersey from this set of captain's jerseys, distinguished by the notation on the back "Team replica Stockholm - 89", we would always be interested in reuniting this wonderful set of jerseys. If you happen to be the collector who had them produced, we'd also be interested in knowing if there were ever Finland and Poland jerseys made, and what their availability might be. We can always be contacted by leaving a comment at the bottom of the day's post or through the email address in our "wantlist" section on the right side of the page.
Dasherboard: Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals are tonight in what is now a best of 3 series. Detroit looks to regain the upper hand at home with the all-important last change to get the matchups against Crosby and Malkin of the Penguins.
The good news for hockey fans is that all remaining games will be on NBC. We like and defend Versus, but it's good for hockey to be able to have the widest possible audience tune into the series, especially when competing head to head with the NBA finals, and it's also better for those traveling, as we have yet to stay in a hotel that has Versus.