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Vaclav Nedomansky: 6 Fun Facts

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

He made a significant impact on the hockey world that people don't always remember.

As of September 22, he's a professional scout with Las Vegas's NHL team.

RELATED: Czech legend Nedomansky joins Las Vegas

He made a significant impact on the hockey world that people don't always remember.

As of September 22, he's a professional scout with Las Vegas's NHL team.

RELATED: Get tickets to see the Golden Knights

72-year-old Vaclav Nedomansky made his largest impact in hockey in 1974, when he became the first hockey player to defect from eastern Europe when he left Czechoslovakia to join the World Hockey Association's Toronto Toros.

"Big Ned" would later play in the NHL for the Detroit Red Wings, who he'd lead in scoring in 1978-79 before finishing his career with the New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues.

Here are six fun facts to help get to know Nedomansky better.

 

1. Was considered a national hero in Czechoslovakia in his early years after helping lead his country to two straight wins against the Soviet Union at the 1969 World Championships at a time of political unrest between the two countries.

Nedomansky's signature moment in the head-to-head meetings with the Soviet Union was his celebration of teammate Jan Suchý's goal, when an exuberant Nedomansky lifted the goal off its moorings out of excitement.

This is considered one of the most famous moments in Czech hockey history.

 

2. Won a silver medal at the 1968 Olympics.

Added a bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics, representing Czechoslovakia.

 

3. After defecting to join the WHA's Toronto Toros in 1974-75, he'd become a Canadian citizen.

Today, he has dual citizenship in Canada and the United States.

 

4. His son, Vaclav Jr. played for the Las Vegas Thunder during the 1995-96 season.

After his hockey career ended, Vaclav Jr. (who now goes by Vashi, which is short for Vaclav) became a filmmaker whose credits include Deadpool, Gone Girl and Sharknado 2: The Second One.

 

5. Vashi Nedomansky is in the process of producing a feature-length documentary about his father.

The documentary is called "Big Ned" and is expected to be released in 2017.

 

6. Is currently a staff member with Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey.

In the below photo of Team Europe's brass, Nedomansky is in the back row, dead center.

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