According to the Czech Republic’s Isport.cz former Philadelphia Flyers’ goaltender Roman Cechmanek is facing up to 10 years in prison for fraud. The netminder has been facing these charges for seven years and was expected to have a hearing for his case earlier this week, but a key witness was missing. With this development Cechmanek’s case will continue in early December, according to the Czech news outlet.
Cechmanek’s legal issues stem from real estate contracts he signed nearly a decade ago that potentially led to him gaining illegal financial benefits. From Isportz.cz:
‘In 2011-2014, Čechmánek was to commit fraud for more than CZK 15 million. “He entered into contracts and agreements with the intention of obtaining property benefits, even though the financial situation did not allow him to do so,” explained prosecutor Petr Matoušek, a former goalkeeper who has denied guilt from the outset. “I’ve never thought of robbing anyone,” he said in court.’
For those of us not up to date on the conversion rate from Czech koruna to the U.S. dollar, CZK 15 million is equivalent to $667,950 according to the internet. The former owner of the building was expected to appear as a witness in Zlin’s Regional Court two days ago but never showed, as Cechmanek continues to deny any wrongdoing.
Cechmanek was selected 171st overall by former general manager Bobby Clarke in the sixth round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. He played in 59 games the very next season where he finished with a 35-15-6 record while posting a .921 save percentage and 10 shutouts to finish second in Vezina Trophy voting behind Dominik Hasek. The Czech goalie finished his three-year tenure in Philly with a record of 92-43-22 in 163 games with a .920 save percentage, 1.96 goals against average, and was one of just four netminders over that three-year span to produce 20 or more shutouts (Martin Brodeur, Patrick Lalime, and Jocelyn Thibault being the others). Clarke shipped Cechmanek out to the Los Angeles Kings in May of 2003 for a 2004 second-round pick, which was ultimately moved to the Chicago Blackhawks (who took Bryan Bickell 41st overall), where he played 49 contests in 2003-04 before he returned home to play in the Czech Republic’s Tipsport Extraliga.