The death was confirmed by Banska Bystrica Regional Police spokesperson Maria Faltaniova, Xinhua reported.
Miroslav Hlinka, a member of the Slovak national team that won gold medals at the 2002 Ice Hockey World Championship in Sweden, last worked as an assistant coach in the Banska Bystrica team.
“This is terrible. I first heard about it today (Sunday) at 5 p.m., I’ve never been faced with something like this before. I don’t know what to say. Miroslav had no problems workwise,” said head of the HC 05 Banska Bystrica team Michal Longauer.
For the first time Hlinka put on the Slovak national team jersey at the World Ice Hockey Championship in Russia in 2000, where Slovakia won the silver medal. Later he won a gold medal in 2002 in Gothenburg, Sweden, and was also on the roster of the team that won the bronze medal at the world championship in Finland in 2003.
This tragedy comes three years after the plane accident in Russia, where died another great player and former captain of Slovak national hockey team Pavol Demitra.