In late January, 35 Czech hockey clubs each honoured a hometown hero in a charitable project called Legenda legendum or “Legend of Legends”. As part of the project, each team wore a special jersey bearing the likeness of its chosen legend.
“The project is a follow-up to the Legend Helps project, which took place three years ago and brought CZK 1.75 million to the Ivan Hlinka Endowment Fund,” said Liběna Hlinková, widow of Hlinka and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ivan Hlinka Endowment Fund.
In the 2016-17 season, many teams wore jerseys that depicted the face of Hlinka on them. Afterwards, the jerseys were auctioned off with the proceeds going to support former players in need.
“The primary objective of the Fund is to support former hockey players and other ice hockey officials who themselves or their families find themselves in a difficult life situation,” Hlinková said about the Ivan Hlinka Endowment Fund, which was created 15 years ago.
Hlinka, of course, is one of the greatest Czech hockey players of all time and afterwards became a coach, and was at the helm of his home country’s 1998 Olympic championship in Nagano, Japan. His home club, which he played for continuously until he went to the NHL in 1981, and then returned to finish his career in the late ‘80s, is Verva Litvínov.
“The initiative came from Kometa Brno, namely the owner of the club Libor Zábranský, who invented the project,” said Hlinková. “Several companies and dozens of hockey clubs joined the organization. It turns out that for a good cause, the whole hockey world can come together.”
This time around, games were played between the 26th and 29th of January and participating teams came from the Czech Republic’s top three national leagues and also included one university team – Cavaliers Brno. Unlike the Legend Helps project three years ago, in which Hlinka’s face appeared on every jersey, this time teams had the opportunity to select a player that is special to the local fanbase.
Players honoured include current players David Pastrňák and Roman Polák, as well as past Czech stars such as Jiří Holeček, Jiří Hrdina, Petr Klíma and Karel Rachůnek. These and other names and faces will be familiar as well to international hockey fans, who now have an opportunity to own one of these collectible jerseys and, at the same time, help out former players in need.
The jerseys are now being auctioned off at sportovniaukce.cz. The bidding begins at CZK 1070 (approximately EUR 42). As well, there are two jerseys bearing Hlinka's likeness and autographed by Jaromír Jágr and Tomáš Plekanec for the Canadian Embassy in Prague that are available starting at CZK 3036 (approximately EUR 119) at sportovniaukce.cz/en/homepage/auction/1759.
“I am convinced that Ivan would be satisfied that the projects to commemorate his memory are closely related to hockey. The sport was so important to him and played a major role in his life,” Hlinková added.
The auction schedule is as follows (all times CET):
HC Škoda Plzeň - HC Sparta Praha » finishes Friday, 6 March at 17:00.
HC Olomouc - HC Vítkovice Ridera » finishes Friday, 6 March at 20:00.
PSG Berani Zlín vs. HC Energie Karlovy Vary » finishes Saturday, 7 March at 15:00.
HC Dynamo Pardubice vs. BK Mladá Boleslav » finishes Saturday, 7 March at 17:00.
Bílí Tygři Liberec vs. Mountfield HK » finishes Saturday, 7 March at 20:00.
Rytíři Kladno vs. HC Oceláři Třinec » finishes Sunday, 8 March at 17:00.
HC Kometa Brno vs. HC VERVA Litvínov » finishes Sunday, 8 March at 20:00.
HC Slovan Ústí nad Labem vs. SK Horácká Slavia Třebíč » finishes Monday, 9 March at 17:00.
ČEZ Motor České Budějovice vs. HC Zubr Přerov » finishes Tuesday, 9 March at 20:00.
VHK ROBE Vsetín vs. Piráti Chomutov » finishes Tuesday, 10 March at 17:00.
AZ RESIDOMO Havířov vs. HC Slavia Praha » finishes Tuesday, 10 March at 20:00.
SK Trhači Kadaň vs. HC Benátky nad Jizerou » finishes Wednesday, 11 March at 17:00.
HC Dukla Jihlava vs. LHK Jestřábi Prostějov » finishes Wednesday, 11 March at 20:00.
HC Frýdek-Místek vs. HC Baník Sokolov » finishes Thursday, 12 March at 17:00.
HC RT TORAX Poruba 2011 vs. HC Stadion Litoměřice » finishes Thursday, 12 March at 20:00.
VUT Cavaliers Brno vs. HC Masaryk Univerzity » (only Cavaliers Brno jerseys) finishes Friday, 13 March at 15:00.
SC Kolín vs. IHC Králové Písek » finishes Friday, 13 March at 17:00.
HC Stadion Vrchlabí a HC Příbram » finishes Friday, 13 March at 20:00.
The list of jerseys available for auction is as follows:
Bílí Tygři Liberec – Jaroslav Nedvěd, BK Mladá Boleslav – Jiří Hrdina, HC Dynamo Pardubice – Vladimír Martinec, HC Energie Karlovy Vary – František Potužák, HC Kometa Brno – Vlastimil Bubník, HC Oceláři Třinec – Radek Bonk, HC Olomouc – Karel Dub, HC Sparta Praha – Jiří Holeček, HC Škoda Plzeň – Vladimír Bednář, HC VERVA Litvínov – Arnold Kadlec, HC VÍTKOVICE RIDERA – Miroslav Vlach, Mountfield HK – Miroslav Řehák, PSG Berani Zlín – Karel Rachůnek, Rytíři Kladno – Eduard Novák.
AZ RESIDOMO Havířov – David Pastrňák, ČEZ Motor České Budějovice – Antonín Španinger, HC Baník Sokolov – Václav Vyskočil, HC Benátky nad Jizerou – Bohumil Bartoň, HC Dukla Jihlava – Jiří Holík, HC Frýdek-Místek – Pavel Kubina, HC RT Torax Poruba – Roman Polák, HC Slavia Praha – Petr Kadlec, HC Slovan Ústí nad Labem – Jaroslav Roubík, HC Stadion Litoměřice – Martin Škoula, Piráti Chomutov – Josef Volák, HC Zubr Přerov – Vojtěch Burian, LHK Jestřábi Prostějov – Jaroslav Palatý, SK Horácká Slavia Třebíč – Vladimír Bouzek, SK Trhači Kadaň – Petr Klíma, VHK Robe Vsetín – Josef Ryžov.
IHC Králové Písek – Stanislav Neckář, HC Příbram – Jaroslav Minařík, HC Vrchlabí – Jaroslav Nič, SC Kolín – Jan Gusta Havel.
University Hockey League
Cavaliers Brno – Svatopluk Číhal.