Jaroslav Jirik dies at 71

Updated: July 11, 2011, 2:01 PM ET
Associated Press

PRAGUE -- Jaroslav Jirik, the first Czech allowed to play in the NHL during the country's communist era, died Monday in a plane crash. He was 71.

Jirik died in the city of Brno, about 125 miles from Prague. His ultralight one-seater crashed shortly after takeoff from the Brno Medlanky airport and caught fire, police said.

Jan Brskovsky, president of the Light Aircraft Association of the Czech Republic, said Jirik was an experienced pilot and the exact cause of the accident is not ...

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