PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Former Philadelphia Flyers goalie Roman Cechmanek has died. He was 52.
Roman Cechmanek only played four seasons in the NHL but spent three of them as the starting goaltender for the Flyers.
He stole the starting goaltending position from Brian Boucher in the 2000-2001 season, his first year with the team. He finished as the runner-up for the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded to the league’s best goalie. He also finished fourth in voting for the league’s MVP that season and qualified for the All-Star Game.
Czechmanek helped lead the orange and black to three straight playoff appearances, two 100-point seasons, and an Atlantic Division title. He and Robert Esche shared the William M. Jennings Trophy in 2003, which is awarded to goalies with the fewest goals scored during a regular season.
The netminder had 25 shutouts in four seasons. After his run, he returned to his native Czech Republic to finish out his career.
Czechmanek was the backup goalie behind Dominik Hasek for the gold medal-winning Czech hockey team in 1998 at the Winter Olympics in Nagano.
In a statement, Flyers President and former teammate Keith Jones said the team is “extremely saddened to hear of the passing” of Czechmanek. Jones said he was “beloved by fans and teammates for his personality, distinct style and pride in stopping the puck.”
A cause of death was not released.