Kootenay ICE let go of Roman Vopat

The assistant coach was released based on breaches of team policy, including the social media policy

Kootenay ICE assistant coach Roman Vopat has been released from his duties.

“Roman was a part-time resource for our coaches on home game days and was released from his consulting agreement based in breaches of team policy, including our social media policy and his consulting agreement,” the team said in a statement issued Monday, Jan. 7.

Vopat had been working with the ICE since 2016.

According to Gregg Drinnan, a Western Hockey League reporter and blogger (greggdrinnan.com), Vopat was dismissed last week after tweets he made that criticized the Canadian World Junior Hockey team head coach Tim Hunter.

Vopat called out Hunter for criticizing forward Alexis Lafreniere in the group round.

“You know my problem I have with all this — he challenged a 17-year-old on national tv, paper and social media about not performing but he doesn’t have the guts to call out his captain on diving all over the place,” he wrote.

In the quarterfinals against Finland, Team Canada captain Maxime Comtois was chosen to take an overtime penalty shot and missed, — a move that Vopat criticized. “He isn’t the natural goal scorer like Glass, Leason, Frost or Tippett so put him in that situation was a bad move by Hunter,” Vopat tweeted.

Canada lost to Finland and placed sixth in the 2019 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.

Vopat, a Czech Republic native, played in 133 National Hockey League games with the St. Louis Blues, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers and the Chicago Blackhawks. He also played in 94 Western Hockey League games with the Moose Jaw Warriors and the Prince Albert Raiders.

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