Jaroslav Špaček
Born February 11, 1974,
Rokycany
Height
Weight
5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
203 lb (92 kg; 14 st 7 lb)
Position Defenceman
Shot Left
team
F. teams
retired
1. NHL
HC Škoda Plzeň
Tipsport Extraliga
HC Plzeň
HC Slavia Praha
SHL
Färjestad BK
NHL
Florida Panthers
Chicago Blackhawks
Columbus Blue Jackets
Edmonton Oilers
Buffalo Sabres
Montréal Canadiens
Carolina Hurricanes
AHL
Beast of New Haven
Ntl. team Flag of the Czech Republic.png Czech Republic
NHL Draft 117th overall, 1998
Florida Panthers
Playing career 1991–2013

Jaroslav Špaček (Czech pronunciation: [ˈjaroslaf ˈʃpatʃɛk]; born on February 11, 1974 in Rokycany) is a Czech retired professional ice hockey defenceman. He was selected 117th overall in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft by Florida Panthers. He is currently the assistent coach for the HC Plzeň and for the Czech National Team.

Club career[edit | edit source]

Špaček played junior hockey for the HC Rokycany and made his senior debut in the 1992-93 season with the HC Škoda Plzeň of the 1. NHL. After the end of the 1992-93 season and after the dissolution of the Czechoslovakia, Špaček continued with the HC Škoda Plzeň (later HC Interconnex Plzeň and even later HC ZKZ Plzeň).

In 1997, Špaček moved to Sweden and played there one season for Färjestad BK of the Elitserien.

In 1998, Špaček signed with the Florida Panthers of the NHL and in his first season in the North America, Špaček played 63 games for the Panthers and 14 games for the Beast of New Haven of the AHL.

In the next season, Špaček played only for the Panthers. He played in 82 games in the regular season and in 4 games in the play-offs and he scored 36 points.

Špaček began the 2000-01 season with the Panthers, but was traded early in the season to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Špaček also began the 2001-02 season with Blackhawks. Close to the trade deadline, he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He finished there the season and also played there next two years.

During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Špaček played for HC Lasselsberger Plzeň and HC Slavia Praha of the Extraliga.

For the 2005-06 season, Špaček signed with the Chicago Blackhawks. On January 26, 2006, the Chicago Blackhawks traded Špaček to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Tony Salmelainen. In 2005–06, Špaček was part of the Cinderella Edmonton Oilers team that made a run to the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals. However, the Oilers lost in Game 7 of the finals to the Carolina Hurricanes. Špaček had three goals and 11 assists in the 2006 Playoffs. He was only one victory away of joining the Triple Gold Club.

On July 5, 2006, Špaček signed a three-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres. In the 2006–07 season, he helped the Sabres reach the Eastern Conference Finals. Špaček was named an alternate captain for the month of December 2007 and captain for the month of January under the Sabres 2007–08 rotating captain and alternate captains system. In the 2008–09 season, Špaček tied a career-high with 45 points in 80 games for the Sabres.

On July 1, 2009, Špaček signed a three-year contract worth $11.5 million with the Montréal Canadiens.[1]

In the final year of his contract in the 2011–12 season, on December 9, 2011, Montréal traded Špaček to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenceman Tomáš Kaberle.[2]

A free agent, and with the 2012–13 NHL lockout in effect well into the 2012–13 season, Špaček effectively announced his retirement on November 19, 2012.[3]

Špaček, as the assistant coach of the HC Plzeň, was forced into playing again in the final series of the Tipsport Extraliga due to injuries to Plzeň's defencemen, and he helped Plzeň to win its first-ever Tipsport Extraliga title.[4]

International career[edit | edit source]

Špaček played as a junior for the Czech Republic at the 1994 World Junior Championship.

He was also a part of the gold-winning team at the 1998 Olympics.

He also took a part at the "golden hattrick" of the Czech Republic winning gold medals at the 1999 and 2001 World Championship.

In 2002, Špaček played at both 2002 Olympics and 2002 World Championship.

He also participated at the 2003 and 2004 World Championships and at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

In 2005, Špaček won his third World Championship gold medal at the 2005 World Championship.

Last time he represented the Czech Republic was at the 2006 Olympics where the Czech Republic won the bronze medal.

Career statistics[edit | edit source]

Regular season and playoffs[edit | edit source]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1992–93 HC Plzeň CZE 16 1 3 4 0
1993–94 HC Plzeň CZE 34 2 10 12 0 4 0 2 2 0
1994–95 HC Plzeň CZE 41 5 8 13 16
1995–96 HC Plzeň CZE 40 3 10 13 42 3 0 1 1 4
1996–97 HC Plzeň CZE 52 9 29 38 44
1997–98 Färjestads BK SEL 45 10 16 26 63 12 2 5 7 14
1998–99 Florida Panthers NHL 63 3 12 15 28
1998–99 Beast of New Haven AHL 14 4 8 12 15
1999–00 Florida Panthers NHL 82 10 26 36 53 4 0 0 0 0
2000–01 Florida Panthers NHL 12 2 1 3 8
2000–01 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 50 5 18 23 20
2001–02 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 60 3 10 13 29
2001–02 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 14 2 3 5 24
2002–03 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 81 9 36 45 70
2003–04 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 58 5 17 22 45
2004–05 HC Plzen CZE 30 3 8 11 26
2004–05 HC Slavia Praha CZE 17 4 9 13 29 7 0 2 2 8
2005–06 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 45 7 17 24 72
2005–06 Edmonton Oilers NHL 31 5 14 19 24 24 3 11 14 24
2006–07 Buffalo Sabres NHL 65 5 16 21 62 16 0 0 0 10
2007–08 Buffalo Sabres NHL 60 9 23 32 42
2008–09 Buffalo Sabres NHL 80 8 37 45 38
2009–10 Montreal Canadiens NHL 74 3 18 21 50 10 1 3 4 6
2010–11 Montreal Canadiens NHL 59 1 15 16 45 7 0 0 0 4
2011–12 Montreal Canadiens NHL 12 0 3 3 2
2011–12 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 34 5 7 12 6
2012–13 HC Plzeň CZE 3 0 1 1 0
NHL totals 880 82 273 355 618 61 4 14 18 44

International[edit | edit source]

Medal record
Competitor for Flag of the Czech Republic.png Czech Republic
Ice hockey
Winter Olympics
Gold 1998 Nagano
Bronze 2006 Torino
World Championships
Gold 1999 Lillehammer
Gold 2001 Nuremberg
Gold 2005 Vienna
Year Team Comp GP G A Pts PIM
1994 Czech Republic WJC 7 2 0 2 8
1998 Czech Republic OG 6 0 0 0 4
1999 Czech Republic WC 12 1 5 6 8
2001 Czech Republic WC 9 0 3 3 4
2002 Czech Republic OG 4 0 0 0 0
2002 Czech Republic WC 7 1 2 3 8
2003 Czech Republic WC 9 1 5 6 4
2004 Czech Republic WC 6 2 1 3 6
2004 Czech Republic WCH 4 0 0 0 0
2005 Czech Republic WC 9 1 0 1 0
2006 Czech Republic OG 8 0 1 1 2
Junior int'l totals 7 2 0 2 8
Senior int'l totals 74 6 17 23 36

Coaching and team staff career[edit | edit source]

Role Team Years
Assistant coach HC Plzeň 2012 - 2016, 2017 - present
Assistant coach Czech National Team[5] 2014 - 2018, 2020 - present

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Habs ink Jaroslav Spacek. Montreal Canadiens (2009-07-01). Archived from the original on 2009-07-04. Retrieved on 2009-07-13.
  2. Canadiens acquire Kaberle from Hurricanes for Spacek. ' 'TSN' ' (2011-12-09). Retrieved on 2011-12-09.
  3. "Spacek wanted at Philadelphia, What did he say? Ends career..." (in Czech). isport.cz (2012-11-19). Retrieved on 2012-11-19.
  4. [1]
  5. Spacek named assistant coach

External links[edit | edit source]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Brian Campbell
Buffalo Sabres captain
January 2008
Succeeded by
Jochen Hecht
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