He had tears in his eyes and he was laughing at the same time. He talked about children, pride and a great inner emptiness. Ladislav Šmíd played his last game in the extra league. He spent more than 40 minutes there, but it was not enough. Tomáš Pavelka’s goal in the 103rd minute ended the Liberec quarterback’s career. The great story ended beautifully. Šmíd overcame another injury in the season, he really wanted the title. “It just came to our knowledge at that time. The game was amazing, I will remember it all my life,” he said after the 4-5 extra-time loss.
Lada, let’s go to the game first. Sparta and I basically cut games number five and six.
“It just came to our knowledge at that time. First of all, I want to congratulate Sparta on winning the series. They played very well, they have a strong team. I wish them good luck for the rest of the playoffs. For example, I know Michal Řepík very well, I will support him. But yes, now we have reached the bottom. Before and during the match, we said to ourselves that no matter how it goes and that we give up or not, we want to look each other in the eye and have the feeling of a job well done. And it worked. They all did their homework correctly. We did the little things well, we jumped in shots. One shot has just been decided and the journey is over for us. But I’m so proud of this team.”
Your time on the ice eventually reached over 40 minutes, which is an additional league record.
“Over 40 minutes? Well, at least that’s enough. (smiles) I’ll probably throw my clogs in the air today. But it didn’t work for me either, I really enjoyed it. These fans here. I know they hated us or hated me, but even the positive and negative emotions give me strength for the next shift.”
In the preliminary round, you first pushed the Comet in five matches and now you’ve bothered Sparta. Was it a playoff and an all-season picture?
“Season from top to bottom. Now we have injured key players in recent games. I was also injured this season, but the team struggled. We won the preliminary round, we played well. Unfortunately, Sparta and I missed the start in the first two games, which can make us sad now. But I think we can really assess it positively. We left everything here.”
You probably missed the aforementioned stance injuries, right?
“We missed Ondra Vitásek for a long time. Great back. We also missed Michal Birner in the last games. Our staff is not as wide as Spartan’s, and for us these are tangible weaknesses. But everyone who jumped in their place, and everyone is around twenty-one, so hats off. I think the future of our team is secure.”
What do you answer to the often washed counter of the referees? He was a little looser in Game 5.
“Good for me. (laughs) Everyone complained about the way I played, but it’s only a playoff game. I know some interventions were borderline or even back, but it “It’s a playoff. I’m definitely not going there to want to offend anyone, even if I sometimes threaten. I want to win the game and do everything for it. It’s just a different competition.”
Now directly to you. Are you going to continue next season, or was that the goal?
“It just came to our knowledge at that time. Even though I didn’t win the title, which I announced before the season, it’s a sweet spot. The game was amazing, I m ‘ll remember it all my life.”
Can you try to highlight the best moments of your great career?
“World Junior Championships, where we won a medal. First game and first goal in the NHL. And then the lost final against Třinec, where unfortunately we didn’t succeed. But I really enjoyed my last years in Liberec I was able to help the young boys develop and I think he’s in a good place now, I’m keeping him in good shape so I can go in peace.”
Are you expecting to work in the structures of Liberec?
“I don’t know. I might like it, but I don’t want to move on. I need a few months to look around and see you later.”
What awaits you now? A beautiful farewell?
“(Laughs) I guess so. They’ll probably spill some of it, it’ll be necessary. (laughs) But it’s got to be celebrated. Although there will definitely be a tear now, because it’s slowly coming to me.”
Sparta – Liberec: Kváča kept the guests in the match with a fantastic intervention!
MS is tempting…I’ll think about it more
During the season, you have again been affected by health problems. How do you perceive this year from a personal point of view?
“I hit rock bottom this season. My neck injury and my cervical spine surgery ended last season. And in that it was still the lumbar spine. So I really had to hit the bottom bottom, both mentally and physically, and I’m really happy to be here in front of you now. And that I extended the season with a playoff that I was able to play. From that point of view, I’m proud to to have recovered from these vicissitudes.”
Was there a possibility of the end of the game in the middle of the year?
“Yes of course. It was extremely difficult, especially mentally. When I learned that I had to undergo another serious operation in seven months, I thought to myself if it was not over. Then I had a few interviews with doctors who made sure I was fine. And it was fine, although I can still feel my back. Every hockey player has injuries. Like I said, I’m glad I got struggled with that and extending the season and being here now.”
The last match was also extended. Is it possible to describe the emotions after Sparta’s goal? For you, it was still either a sequel or a complete ending.
“It’s so hard. Empty. When they scored, I suddenly…I probably don’t realize it’s just over. That I don’t have to come to the chalet or the gym tomorrow. It’s is the end of the routine, even though my partner told me she’ll put me on another routine so I don’t be a lazy pig.(smiles) There will probably be another routine. But there is now emptiness inside. I know I’m laughing, but I’m so sad that it’s over for me.”
What are the upcoming projects?
“I want to be with my family and see as many friends as possible before I leave. I want to stay here for about another month and then we have plans in Canada. We are building a house there and I have to be there for I want to be with the kids as soon as possible. Then I’d like to get involved in some skills coaching to diversify it a bit, but I don’t want to rush from job to job. I want to enjoying some free time.”
Is there anything really unusual for you to go on?
“Like, I thought about it a lot. But I don’t like to say anything and then it’s different. I’ve announced it here several times. But when I tell myself that I’ll give myself another season or two, so I always remember my kids. Or even when I’m on FaceTim with them. And I see how much I miss them and I want to be there. It doesn’t look like I’m presenting on the ice, but I’m a little different with the kids privately. I miss her a lot. They’re already seven and they already see it differently and they need a daddy, so I want to be there for them.”
Last question. And the World Cup? In fact, it’s still that season.
“I don’t know. I have no idea if I should. It’s a bit different speed. Also how I felt with these backs now until the end so play under the pills I’m going there I’ll think again. It’s tempting, that’s for sure. But, probably not for me right now.”
EDITING: Sparta Prague – Liberec 5: 4p. The home team won the semi-finals of the second longest match in league history!
Home made : 06:17. Tomasek, 1:06 p.m. A. Polášek, 24:27. Buchtele, 29:05. A. Polášek, 103: 28. T. Pavelka
Guests: 03:42. Ordoš, 06:52. R. Long, 28:07. Filippi, 28:38. J. Šír
Home made : Machovsky (29. J. Hudacek) – Matuskin, David Nemecek (A), A. Polasek, T. Pavelka, Moravcik, Tomas Dvorak, Jurcina – M. Forman, Tomasek, M. Repik (C) – Buchtele, Chlapik (A ) ), Z. Doležal – E. Thorell, R. Horák, Šmerha – J. Strnad, Vitouch, Dvořáček.
Guests: Kváča (J. Pavelka) – L. Šmíd (C), M. Ivan, M. Rosandić, Štibingr, Kolmann, Melancon, Aubrecht – Ordoš, Filippi (A), Klepiš – J. Vlach (A), J. Šír, Klapka – A. Dlouhy, Griger, M. Zachar – Rychlovsky, A. Najman, Fasko-Rudas.
Jeřábek, Šindel – Brejcha, Ondráček
Arena O2 (Prague – Vysocany)
Everything about the club HERE