Jan Kobezda a former top-level player and coach both in Slovakia and in Iceland, passed away at the age of 41.
The Slovak, who worked as head coach and GM of Slovak Extraliga team Dukla Trencin, suffered a heart attack on Friday before the team’s departure to a league game in Kosice and was brought to hospital where he died.
Kobezda started his career as a defenceman in Dubnica and represented Slovakia in the 1993 IIHF U18 World Championship C-Pool shortly after the country’s independence and the men’s national team in two exhibition games.
He later also played for Dukla Trencin in the top league before trying his luck abroad with two seasons in North America for the Fort Wayne Komets (IHL), Tallahassee Tiger Sharks (ECHL) and Missouri River Otters (UHL), for Vitkovice Ostrava in the Czech Republic and for Ilves Tampere in Finland before returning to Trencin and Slovan Bratislava.
After ending his career in Slovakia he played in Akureyri, Iceland, and was coaching the Icelandic U20 national team in 2003/2004. That was the start of his coaching career that broke him back to Slovakia as a youth coach for HK Bulldogs and Dukla Trencin where he became the General Manager of the senior team and also took over the coaching position during the season.