Then and Now: Lukas Krajicek

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In the middle of the 2009-2010 season, it didn’t look likely that Lukas Krajicek would be playing hockey in the NHL anytime soon let alone play in the Stanley Cup Finals. That’s exactly what happened though after the Tampa Bay Lightning terminated his contract in late January of 2010, which allowed him to sign with the Philadelphia Flyers shortly after.

In his second season with Tampa Bay’s organization, Krajicek had an assist, 21 PIMs, and a minus-4 rating in 23 games. He also had six assists in 15 games for Tampa’s AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, before he was dumped by the franchise.

He signed with the Flyers on February 1st, 2010 to a one-year contract worth $700,000. With his first game for Philly coming in the Flyers’ 3-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on the day he signed with the club, Krajicek registered one goal and one assist in 27 games for the Orange and Black. His lone helper came in Philly’s 3-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on March 5th, as his only goal took place in the Flyers’ 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on March 28th (go to 3:52).

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In the 2010 playoffs, Krajicek participated in 22 of the Flyers’ 23 postseason games on their way to a Stanley Cup Finals’ loss with Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals being the only game he missed. The defenseman recorded three assists in the run, as he had the primary helper on Ville Leino’s tally in Philly’s 3-0 Game 2 win of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Montreal Canadiens and an assist in Games 5 and 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Many fans and pundits felt that the poor play of Philly’s third defensive pairing was a huge reason as to why they didn’t win the Stanley Cup. The Flyers’ third pairing was Krajicek with either Ryan Parent or Oskars Bartulis.

Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals was Krajicek’s final game in the NHL, as he joined HC Ocelari Trinec of the Tipsport Extraliga, the Czech Republic’s highest level of hockey. HC Trinec’s captain for the 2010-2011 season was Radek Bonk.

In 48 regular season games, Krajicek finished with six goals and 14 assists along with 84 PIMs and a plus-22 rating. He produced the second-highest amount of points for a HC Trinec defenseman, as he finished behind Lukas Zib, who had one more assist.

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As for the 2011 Czech Extraliga postseason, Krajicek and HC Trinec won the league title. HC Trinec defeated HC BENZINA Litvinov in six games during the Quarterfinals and HC Slavia Praha in seven games during the Semifinals before beating the HC Vitkovice Steel in five games for the title. Krajicek took part in all 18 games during the run, as he produced three goals and four assists.

In 2011, Krajicek represented his home country of the Czech Republic in both the Euro Hockey Tour and the IIHF World Championship. He had one goal in nine games for his country that finished fourth in the four-team EHT. He also had one assist in eight WC games, where the Czech Republic beat Russia 7-4 in the Bronze Medal game.

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For the 2011-2012 season, Krajicek left the Czech Extraliga and joined Dinamo Minsk of the KHL. He joined former NHLers Ladislav Nagy and Geoff Platt.

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Krajicek registered two goals and 12 assists in 14 regular season games, as Dinamo Minsk finished 13th in the 23-team league with 21 wins in 54 games. They were swept in the first round of the KHL playoffs by Dynamo Moscow, who went on to win the Gagarin Cup. Krajicek played in all four postseason games going pointless with six PIMs and a minus-2 rating.

For a second straight year Krajicek represented the Czech Republic for the Euro Hockey Tour and the IIHF World Championship. He had two assists in five games during the EHT, where his country finished first, and one goal with three assists in 10 games during the WC, where the Czech Republic beat Finland 3-2 in the bronze medal game.

Krajicek stayed with Dinamo Minsk for the 2012-2013 season. He’s recorded a goal and an assist in the team’s first eight games.