Ice hockey-Evergreen Jagr to lead Czech team in Sochi

PRAGUE, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Jaromir Jagr will lead the Czech Republic hockey team at the Winter games in Sochi in what will be the fifth Olympics for one of the country's greatest ever players, the Czech hockey federation said.

The 41-year old New Jersey Devils winger played on the 1998 Gold-medal winning team in Nagano and played a key role when the Czechs took bronze eight years later in Turin.

The 25-man Czech team includes 17 players from the National Hockey League.

In something of a surprise, coach Alois Hadamczik brought in former NHL player Petr Nedved, whose only other Olympic experience came in 1994 at Lillehammer when he represented the Canadian team.

Nedved, now plying his trade in the top Czech league, got the nod over current NHL players like Jiri Hudler due to his past chemistry with Jagr when the two were team mates with Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers.

The Czechs start the tournament Feb. 12 against Sweden and also face Latvia and Switzerland in Group C. (Reporting by Michael Kahn, Editing by Justin Palmer)