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Team Czech Republic names Jandac World Cup coach @NHLdotcom

Josef Jandac was named coach of Team Czech Republic for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, the Czech Ice Hockey Association announced Thursday.

Jandac, 47, will coach the Czech Republic national team during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, with the World Cup his first event.

"We have come to terms on a two-year deal with the condition that Josef Jandac will work exclusively for the Czech national team," Czech Ice Hockey Association president Tomas Kral said. "His first task will be to build an entire coaching staff for the next season and prepare a World Cup roster."

He will replace current national team coach Vladimir Vujtek, who plans to retire after the 2016 IIHF World Championship in Russia. Jandac is as an assistant on Vujtek's staff. He previously was an assistant coach to Vladimir Ruzicka with the Czech national team from 2008-10 and was on the staff of the gold-medal winning Czech Republic team at the 2010 World Championship in Germany.

Jandac will become the fourth coach of the Czech national team since the death of Ivan Hlinka in 2004. Ruzicka, a former NHL player, held the position twice. Alois Hadamczik and Vujtek also served as coach.

The Czech Ice Hockey Association typically does not name a new coach while there is a current coach. However, the need to have the core of the World Cup roster named by March 1 precipitated the announcement. The coach of the Czech national team chooses the players, not the general manager, as is typical for countries like the United States and Canada.

The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will take place at Air Canada Centre in Toronto from Sept. 17-Oct. 1. Team Europe will play in Group A with Team Canada, Team Czech Republic and Team USA. Team Finland, Team Russia, Team Sweden and Team North America will be in Group B. All games will be televised by ESPN in the United States, and Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.

Training camps for all eight teams are expected to begin Sept. 4-5. Team Czech Republic is scheduled to play its first pre-tournament game Sept. 8 against Team Russia in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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