Coach calls '05 team the best ever

VIENNA, Austria -- Jaromir Jagr will play for the Czech Republic at this month's hockey world championships in Austria.

Czech Republic coach Vladimir Ruzicka told The Associated Press on Thursday that Jagr would be available.

The Czech team will include 26 NHL players and "will probably be the best-ever team the Czech Republic has sent to a tournament," Ruzicka said. Last year as host, the Czech team lost to the United States in the quarterfinals.

The world championships begin April 30, with the gold-medal game scheduled for May 15. Canada is the defending champion.

Jagr, who plays for the New York Rangers, re-signed with Russian team Avangard Omsk this week and will play there if the NHL lockout continues into next season.