Full name: Ivan Hlinka
Born: January 26, 1950, Most, Czechoslovakia
Died: August 16, 2004, Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia
Height: 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
World Championship (player): 3 gold, 5 silver, 3 bronze
World Championship (coach): 1 gold, 4 bronze
Olympic Games: 1 silver, 1 bronze
Olympic Games (coach): 1 gold
IIHF Hall of Fame: 2002
Goals: 42 (regular season), 3 (playoffs)
Assists: 81 (regular season), 10 (playoffs)
Points: 123 (regular season), 13 (playoffs)
Seasons played: 2
Games played: 137 (regular season), 16 (playoffs)
Played for: Vancouver Canucks
Stanley Cup: none
Hall of Fame: no
Ivan Hlinka started his hockey career in Litvínov (Czechoslovak league) at the age of 16. He was one of the best ice hockey players in the Czechoslovakia. Ivan Hlinka represented Czechoslovakia in 11 World Championships and he won a medal in each of them; 3 gold medals, 5 silver medals and 3 bronze medals. Hlinka won gold medal in 1972 in Prague, 1976 in Katowice and 1977 in Vienna.
In 1981, Ivan Hlinka and Jiří Bubla were allowed by the Czechoslovak authorities to play in the NHL. This happened for the second time in the history. The first Czechoslovak player in the NHL was Jaroslav Jiřík; he played three games for the St. Louis Blues in 1969-70 season. Ivan Hlinka spent two seasons in the NHL before he moved back to the Europe because of problems with backs.
Hlinka started his coaching career in Litvínov, the city where he started his player’s career. In 1991, Hlinka became coach of the Czechoslovak national team, later Czech national team. As a coach, Hlinka won gold medal in 1999 World Championship and 4 bronze medals. His major coach success was in Olympic Games Nagano 1998, Tournament of the Century, where he won gold medal.
In the 2000-2001 season, Hlinka became the second European coach in the NHL.
In 2002, Ivan Hlinka was introduced to the IIHF Hockey Hall of Fame.
He was supposed to be coach on the Czech national team for the 2004-2005 season. Sadly, he died on August 16, 2004 in a car accident.