BORN FEBRUARY 12TH, 1973 in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, he began skating at the age of four and started prep hockey in HC Vítkovice in the Czechoslovak First Ice Hockey League. He developed in the Club’s juniors and played with the seniors in the early-1990s. “I definitely got into hockey for my father," he has said. "Dad played for many years in Vítkovice and, together with his older brother, he took us to the training and the games”.
His father had played on the Czechoslovakia National Team and later coached the national under-18 squad. His older brother Darek also pursued a long junior coaching career in the Czech Republic.
In 1993 he spent two years in the Canadian junior system learning a different life and a little English language. He played for the Dauphin Kings in the MJHL, then the Nippon Paper Cranes in the JIHL on the other side of the globe. In 1995, he returned to his homeland and played for HK Krnov (’95) in the Czech third division. After a break of 5 years from elite hockey he returned with SHK Poruba (2000, 01) and HC Sareza Ostrava (2002).
The idea of moving to Australia came via a friend who had played there; former Poruba player, Ivo Richter. However, he did not move there to play hockey, rather an urge to try something new and study management and marketing. By the time he joined the Sydney Bears in the 2002 season of the AIHL, he had already been in the country for more than a year. He met his wife Nicole and settled in to what became “a very nice ending to my hockey career”.
He was a 177 cm tall, 82 kg forward who played for the Bears for 9 seasons, 2002 until 2010, winning 2 Goodall Cups (2002, ’07). In that time he played 137 games producing 100 goals and 149 assists, an average of 1.82 points per game. He held his Club’s records for the Most Goals in a Season (2006) and Most Points in a Season (2008). That year he also scored the Most Assists in the AIHL (41) on a line with his younger brother Vit who scored an average 2.7 points a game from 15 games.
He became an Australian citizen in 2009 at the age of 36 and represented Australia in the Division 1 World Championships at Vilnius in Lithuania and in the Winter Games NZ in Dunedin, New Zealand. He played for Australia again in 2011 in Melbourne winning a gold medal and promotion to Division I. He tallied 1 goal, 6 assists at the Worlds for Australia. It was the fourth continent on which he played and his career here was longer than anywhere. Today, he lives in Mount Colah, New South Wales, and still plays recreational hockey in the SIHL in Sydney.
Ross Carpenter, 'Stransky, Vladan (1973 - )', Legends of Australian Ice, Melbourne, Australia, http://icelegendsaustralia.com/legends-2/bio_shumak.html, accessed online .
'Vladan Stravinsky: I recommend Australia to everyone', HC Poruba interview, 28 September 2006.