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Philadelphia Flyers Legend Roman Cechmanek Dies at 52

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Roman Cechmanek, Philadelphia Flyers
Despite playing for just three years with the Philadelphia Flyers, Roman Cechmanek left the franchise as one of its most esteemed goaltenders. (Credit: Rick Stewart, ALLSPORT)

The Philadelphia Flyers, fans, and the rest of the hockey community around the world received some devastating news Sunday morning.

An article shared by Denik Sport announced the death of former Flyers goalie Roman Cechmanek, who passed away at age 52. The cause of death was not immediately clear, though the article states that Cechmanek was feeling sick on Saturday, and he was found deceased by his son Roman on Sunday.

The Czech star was first drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers at the age of 29, way back in 2000. Cechmanek spent three memorable years with the Flyers, accruing a record of 92-43-22, and a .923 save percentage with Philadelphia. In his first season in the NHL, the 6-foot-3 shot-stopper placed fourth in Hart Trophy voting, second in Vezina Trophy voting, and was named an NHL All-Star. He also shared a William M. Jennings trophy with Martin Brodeur and Robert Esche in the 2002-03 season.

Cechmanek spent one further year in the league with the Los Angeles Kings, going 18-21-6 with a .906 save percentage. After that, he played six more years abroad in Czechia, Germany, and Sweden before calling it quits in 2009.

Representing his country, Cechmanek won a gold medal three different times. He won gold in the Ice Hockey World Championships in Norway in 1999 and again in Russia in 2000, but perhaps most memorably took gold in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.

Cechmanek generally served as Dominik Hasek’s backup during his time with the Czech Republic in the early 2000s.

The Chrudim, Czechia native left his mark on the hockey world, and retired as a Philadelphia Flyers legend. Cechmanek finished the 2002-03 season with a GAA of just 1.83, which stands as a Flyers single-season record to this day. All three seasons of his seasons in Philly are amongst the organization’s all-time highest in both save percentage and GAA.

Cechmanek is survived by his two sons, Jakub and Roman, and daughter Katarina.

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