Have Puck, Will Travel

VASILY MELNICHENKO/ITAR-TASS

POWER PLAY: Jagr, at center, left New York to play for the Siberian team Avangard Omsk

Tomas Krejci, a 30-year-old policeman from Prague, used to go to 20 ice hockey games a season. But he gave up in the early 1990s; in his view, the quality of the 14 teams in the Czech league slipped because all the best players were lured across the Atlantic by the higher salaries of North America's National Hockey League. But this season, thanks to an NHL salary dispute, much of the top talent is back — and so is Krejci, who has already attended more than 15 games. "They have brought the game to life," he says. "It's faster, rougher, more...

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