You would never know it by his NHL stint, but big Czech Jiri Dopita is very much a hockey legend, at least back home.

Dopita is about as decorated as a player can get in the Czech Republic. He was a 7 time Czech league champion, 4 time regular season MVP and 3 time playoff MVP. He was part of three Czech world Championships and the 1998 Olympic gold medal championship. In 2001 he was given the Golden Stick Award, the top honour a hockey player can get in the Czech Republic. It is sort of like being inducted into a Hockey Hall of Fame.

For all his success he never gave the NHL a shot until he was 32 years old. He was drafted by Boston as a 23 year old in 1993, and then by the New York Islanders in 1998. Because of his size (6'3", 210lbs) and overseas success he was very much on the NHL radar as the century ended. But repeated attempts to lure him to the NHL failed and resulted in his playing rights bouncing around the league.

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