Former Maple Leafs all-star Miro Frycer dies at 61 after brief illness

Miroslav Frycer, who defected from Czechoslovakia to play eight seasons in the NHL, has died. He was 61.

Czech league team Orli Znojmo, where Frycer had been head coach since 2018, said on its website Tuesday that Frycer died after an unspecified brief illness.

Frycer had overcome health problems in the past. He chronicled his recovery from a liver transplant in his autobiography My Wild Hockey Life.

Frycer, who represented Czechoslovakia at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., defected from the communist country and 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 with the Maple Leafs. He represented Toronto at the 1985 all-star game in Calgary.

Career-high 75 points in 1985-86 season

He had his most productive offensive season in 1985-86, when he had 32 goals and 43 assists in 73 games with the Leafs.

“The Maple Leafs organization is deeply saddened today to learn of the passing of Miroslav Frycer,” the team posted on its Twitter account Tuesday.

“A life dedicated to the game, Miroslav played seven seasons in the blue and white, and is still amongst the Leafs top 50 scorers of all-time. Our thoughts are with his family.”

Frycer had 147 goals and 330 points in 415 NHL regular-season games with Quebec, Toronto, Detroit and Edmonton and ranks 47 in Maple Leafs history with 268 points.

After his NHL career Frycer played two seasons in Germany and another in Italy.

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