Then and Now: Jaroslav Modry

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During the 2008 playoffs, the Philadelphia Flyers pulled off a pair of upsets before ultimately falling to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals. Eight different defenseman suited up for the Orange and Black during their unexpected run.

Aside from Ryan Parent, who only took part in four postseason games in 2008, Jaroslav Modry played in the fewest number of playoff games with nine appearances. Since that playoff run, Modry has been a member of two different clubs in the Czech Extraliga.

In February of 2008, the Flyers made a pair of trades that made an immediate impact on the club. Days before Philly grabbed Vinny Prospal from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Alexandre Picard and a second-round pick in the 2009 draft, with which the Bolts used to pick Richard Panik, the Flyers shipped a third-round pick to the Los Angeles Kings for a third-round pick in the 2008 draft, with which the Kings picked Geordie Wudrick (who has yet to play a game in the NHL).

The nine games that Modry took part in during the 2008 playoffs came in two series, as he played in Games 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 against the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals before he took part in Games 1, 2, 3, and 4 against the Pens. In those games, Modry had three assists and four contests where he had over 20 minutes of ice time, including a 23:55 total in the Flyers’ double-overtime win in Game 4 against the Caps. Modry’s worst game of the run was his first game, as he posted a minus-4 rating in the Flyers’ 5-4 loss in Game 1 of the ECQF.

For the 2008-2009 season, Modry took his talents to the Czech Republic, as he joined Bili Tygri Liberec of the Czech Extraliga. For the first time at any level in his career, Modry earned the honor of being named captain of his team, as he shared the title with former Flyer Petr Nedved. In addition to Nedved, Bili Tygri Liberec also boasted Vaclav Pletka, Pavel Kasparik, Milan Hnilicka, and Radim Vrbata.

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Modry had three goals and 14 assists in 52 games, as Bili Tygri Liberec finished ninth in the 14-club league with 74 points to take on the eighth-seeded HC Vitkovice Steel. As his club was swept in the best-of-five Preliminary round series, Modry went pointless and recorded six penalty minutes.

The following season, Modry stayed in the Czech Extraliga, but joined HC Plzen. He has spent the last three seasons with HC Plzen, as one of his teammates in his first year with the club was Martin Straka, who was the captain. In 52 regular season games for HC Plzen, Modry led his team’s blue line with nine goals and also recorded 18 helpers while racking up a career-high 91 PIMs.

In his first season with HC Plzen, Modry and his teammates finished atop the league with 29 wins in 52 games for 106 points and a bye in the Preliminary round of the playoffs. Unfortunately for the club, they met Modry’s former club Bili Tygri Liberec in the Quarterfinals and were upset by the eighth seed in six games. In the series, Modry had three assists and eight PIMs.

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For the 2010-2011 campaign, Modry enjoyed his second season with HC Plzen, as both John Slaney and Petr Sykora joined his club. For a second straight season, Modry led HC Plzen’s defensive crew in goals with eight while pitching in 12 assists as well in 52 games.

Despite winning just two less games than the previous season, HC Plzen finished eighth overall with 27 wins in 52 contests for 77 points to take on the ninth-seeded HC VERVA Litvinov in the Preliminary round. HC Plzen was eliminated by the club, while Modry took part in four games recording an assist and four PIMs with a plus-1 rating.

To start his past season, Modry volunteered as an assistant coach at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. After spending time in NY, Modry returned to HC Plzen and took part in 14 regular season games potting one goal and recording 37 PIMs.

With the addition of Jaroslav Hlinka, HC Plzen was able to finish second in the league with 26 wins in 52 games and a total of 99 points. They were rewarded with a Preliminary round bye and a Quarterfinals’ match-up against the seventh-seeded PSG Zlin.

After the club defeated PSG Zlin in seven games, they faced the eighth-seeded HC Kometa Brno in the Semifinals. HC Plzen was eliminated by the club in five games before HC Kometa Brno lost to HC Pardubice in a six game Finals match-up.

Modry finished with two assists and six PIMs with a minus-2 rating in 10 games to finish his seventh consecutive goalless postseason. Modry’s last goal in the postseason was an overtime-winning tally that beat Patrick Roy 14:23 into the extra frame to give the Los Angeles Kings a 1-0 series lead over the Colorado Avalanche in the 2001 Western Conference Semifinals. It was his only goal in the NHL or Czech Extraliga playoffs in his career.

As for the 2012-2013 season, the 41-year-old defenseman might hang up the skates and return to coaching. Nothing is definite at the moment.