Miroslav Frycer, who defected from Czechoslovakia and spent most of his eight seasons in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs, has died. He was 61.
He died after an unspecified brief illness, the Czech league team Orli Znojmo said on its website Tuesday. Frycer had been the team’s coach since 2018.
Frycer had overcome health problems in the past. He chronicled his recovery from a liver transplant in his autobiography, “My Wild Hockey Life.”
Frycer, a forward, also played for Quebec, Detroit and Edmonton in the NHL. He represented Czechoslovakia at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics. After defecting from communist Czechoslovakia he joined the Quebec Nordiques for the 1981-82 NHL season. He was traded to Toronto during his rookie campaign and went on to play six more seasons there. He represented the Maple Leafs at the 1985 All-Star game.