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Czechs pick Svoboda for Olympic team

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 10, 2001


Lightning defenseman Petr Svoboda has been named to the Czech Republic's Olympic team.

This is somewhat of a surprise because the 35-year-old has been out since a severe concussion Dec. 14 against the Coyotes. Frantisek Cernik, general manager for the Czech Republic team, told faceoff.com that Svoboda was hesitant.

"He did hesitate when we approached him, saying he wouldn't want to take away a spot from somebody who could play," Cernik said. "But when I told him it would be no problem, because if his medical problems persisted, we could replace him, Svoboda was more than happy to agree."

Svoboda, who scored the gold-medal winning goal against Russia in the 1998 Olympics, could not be reached for comment.

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