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Friday, July 10, 2015

1975-76 Tesla Pardubice Jiří Novák Jersey

In recognition of the birthdate of inventor of radio, neon lighting and the alternating current electricity transmission Nikola Tesla on this date in 1856, we feature a jersey from the club once known as Tesla Pardubice.

HC Pardubice was formed in 1923 in Czechoslovakia. The club began to play a regular schedule of games in the early 1930's and at the end of World War II a new open air stadium with artificial ice arrived.

Shortly thereafter, the club won a second division title in 1949-50, earning promotion to the top level of Czech hockey, the Czechoslovak First Ice Hockey League. Since their promotion in 1950, they have remained without interruption at the top level of Czech hockey, a remarkable record of over 60 years of consistency and competitiveness.

On the occasion of their promotion in 1950-51, the club adopted a new name, Slavia Pardubice, which was then changed to Dynamo Pardubice for the 1953-54 campaign. The club set a new high water mark with a third place finish in 1959-60, the same season a roof was added to the stadium for the first time!

The club changed names once again due to a corporate sponsorship arrangement with Tesla, the government-owned electronics conglomerate, and thus became known as Tesla Pardubice beginning in 1960-61.

Tesla Stained Glass

In 1964-65, Zdeněk Špaček of Pardubice led the league in scoring with 33 goals. The club received an influx of talent from the 1967 Czechoslovak junior champions when Bohuslav ŠťastnýJiří Novák and Vladimír Martinec all joined the squad which paid off with their first ever league championship in 1972-73 following a first place regular season finish, coming from a 24-9-3 record, and a 4 games to 2 end the domination of six time defending champions Dukla Jihlava. Martinec was awarded the Golden Hockey Stick as the league MVP following the season, the first of four he would win over the next seven seasons.

vladimir martinec
Vladimír Martinec

That championship earned Pardubice a place in the following season's European Champions Cup, outlasting 15 other clubs to reach the final against the dominant Central Red Army Club of Moscow, Soviet Union, who had won the last five cups in a row. Pardubice defeated Red Army in Game 1 by a score of 3-2 at home, but fell in the second game 6-1 in Moscow for an 8-4 aggregate score for the Soviets.

In December of 1977, Pardubice came to North America and played four exhibition games against clubs from the NHL, losing 6-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers , defeating the Minnesota North Stars 4-2 and then losing to the Detroit Red Wings 5-4 and the New York Islanders 8-3.

In 1978-79, Martinec won his third MVP award, following previous ones in 1975 and 1976, when he led the league with 42 goals.

Two seasons later saw the arrival of Czech hockey legend and Pardubice native, goalkeeper Domink Hašek, who later became the club's number one netminder in 1982-83.

Hasek Pardubice
Domink Hašek

Hašek guided Tesla to the league championship in 1986-87 and 1988-89, winning the Golden Hockey Stick on both occasions. Also winning an award for Best Coach, was former star player Martinec.

Tesla Pardubice 1986-87
1986-87 league champions Tesla Pardubice

With the many political changes in the world in the early 1990's, including the overthrow of the communist government in 1989, the club acquired a new name for the 1991-92 season when they became known as HC Pardubice.

Pardubice became members of the Czech Extraliga following the division of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. The club has changed names several times since 1995 through a series of sponsorships.

The club rose to the top again, reaching the final in 2003-04 and winning their fourth championship in 2004-05, taking advantage of the opportunity to employ Jan BulisMilan Hejduk and playoff MVP Ales Hemsky during the NHL lockout.

Milan Hejduk Pardubice
Milan Hejduk

Tesla Pardubice 2004-05
2004-05 champions HC Pardubice

Following his retirement from the NHL in 2008, Hašek returned to his roots and signed a one year contract with Pardubice for the 2009-10 season, going 23-10 on his way to leading the club to it's fifth and most recent championship at the age of 44.

Hasek Pardubice
Domink Hašek celebrates another championship on his
return to him hometown of Pardubice

The club, then known as HC ČSOB Pojištovana Pardubice, would win their third Czech Extraliga championship in 2011-12 thanks to a playoff full of upsets, as they, as the #3 seed, were paired in the finals with the #8 seed HC Kometa Brno, who had knocked out both the #1 and #2 teams from the regular season. In the final, Pardubice dispatched plucky Brno in six games.

2011-12 HC ČSOB Pojištovana Pardubice photo 2011-12 HC SOB Pojiscarontovana Pardubice.jpg
2011-12 Czech Extraliga champions HC ČSOB Pojištovana Pardubice

Beginning with the upcoming 2015-16 season, the club will be known as HC Dynamo Pardubice, reviving the classic Dynamo name first used back in 1953.

Today's featured jersey is a 1975-76 Tesla Pardubice Jiří Novák jersey. The front is dominated by the Tesla electronics company logo which makes for a striking jersey unlike any other. The jersey is customized in the classic Czech style of of the era with a small drop shadow and even smaller outline on both the letters, numbers and sponsorship logos.

Novák played for Pardubice from 1967 to 1970 and again from 1972 to 1981. His #20 has since been retired by the club, one of 11 such honored sweaters in team history.

Tesla Pardubice 75-76 jersey
Tesla Pardubice 75-76 jersey

Today's video segment begins with a look at the life and many of Tesla's inventions which changed the world and remain a part of our modern, everyday lives.

Next, HC Pardubice winning their second Czech Extraliga championship in 2010.

This next video is a slide show highlighting the fans of Pardubice, showing their passion for the club.

Finally, highlights of the team's most recent championship season of 2011-12.


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