Lubina dies at 54
by Derek O'Brien|16 SEP 2021
Ladislav Lubina (right) celebrates a goal with Frantisek Kucera and Robert Reichel in the Czechs’ win over Germany at the 1998 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Basel, Switzerland. The Czechs won bronze, Lubina’s last of several IIHF medals.
photo: Ruben Sprich / Reuters
On Monday, the Czech Ice Hockey Association announced the passing of former Czechoslovak national team forward Ladislav Lubina at 54 years of age following a lengthy illness. 

An Olympic bronze medalist from 1992 in Albertville, Lubina also played in four World Championships, three World Junior Championships, the 1987 Canada Cup and the 1990 Goodwill Games. 

Lubina is a product of the successful Pardubice hockey factory and broke into Czechoslovakia’s top league at age 17 in 1984, finding a place on a team that had 19-year-old Dominik Hasek in goal. 

Lubina’s most productive season was 1990/91 in which he recorded 61 points – including a league-leading 41 goals – in 50 games, after which he spent four years abroad playing in Finland, Germany and Switzerland before returning back home to Pardubice. Although he never took his career overseas, he was drafted by the NHL’s Minnesota North Stars in 1985.  

Internationally, Lubina won two World Junior silver medals, including 1987 when he recorded 10 points in seven games with Czechoslovakia playing on home ice, and three World Championship bronze medals. His last came in 1998 in Switzerland, where 31-year-old Lacina recorded five points in nine games following a six-year absence from the national team. At his lone Olympic appearance, he recorded six points in eight games. 

He wound up his 23-year pro career in 2006/07 as a player/assistant coach for third-tier HC Chrudim, and from then on was employed as a coach almost continuously up until 2020. While most of his jobs were in the Czech Republic, including head coaching gigs for Extraliga clubs Kometa Brno and Pardubice, he also had a couple of stints in Slovakia and spent two years at the helm of Yertis Pavlodar in Kazakhstan.

A moment of silence for Lubina was observed on Tuesday night by a crowd of 8,105 prior to Pardubice’s home game against Sparta Prague. 

“He was a man whose hockey life was strongly tied to Pardubice,” said Dusan Salficky, the chairman and sports manager of Dynamo Pardubice and a former goaltender who had Lubina as both a teammate and a coach. “We have all been affected by this news. On behalf of the whole club, I want to express my sincere condolences to his family and friends.”