February 7, 1968 (age 42),
|6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)
Peter Bondra (born February 7, 1968) is a former Slovak professional ice hockey player, who is currently the general manager of the Slovak national team. Bondra became the 37th player in NHL history to score 500 NHL goals.
Life and familyEdit
When Bondra was three years old, his father moved with the family back to Czechoslovakia from Lutsk, Ukraine, where he had moved in 1947 in order to seek better work. From 1982, Bondra and his older brothers, Vladimír and Juraj, were raised by their mother Nadežda as their father had died in that year. He was still a Soviet citizen when he arrived in the United States, later obtaining a Slovak passport and citizenship in 1993. Currently, Bondra and his wife Luba, as well as their daughter Petra and two sons, David and Nick, reside in Riva, Maryland.
Bondra was drafted by the Capitals in 1990, 156th overall, but before joining the team in 1990-91 season he played for hockey team TJ VSŽ Košice (now called HC Košice) for four seasons from 1986-90 in Czechoslovakia. In Washington, Bondra blossomed to become one of the more prolific goal-scorers of the 1990s, while trying to fulfill his dream of winning the Stanley Cup. His best chance to do so came in 1997–98, when the Capitals advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals before being swept by Detroit. In the 2004 season, Bondra's 14th with Washington, the Capitals endured a disappointing year and in a salary purge move traded veteran members of the team to contenders. Bondra was traded to the Ottawa Senators for Brooks Laich and a second round draft pick. At the press conference announcing this trade Bondra notably became choked up.
Over his career, he has been renowned for his exceptional skills. In 14 years with the Capitals, he scored 472 goals and racked up 353 assists in 961 games. He holds Capitals team records in goals (472), points (825), power-play goals (137), game-winning goals (73), short-handed goals (32) and hat tricks (19). With the Caps he appeared in five all-star games (1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999). In 1997 and 1999 Bondra won the Fastest Skater Competition on All-Star weekend. In 2004, the Capitals held a vote for fans to determine the top 30 players in franchise history to celebrate their 30th season in the league. Bondra finished second with 2,018 votes. The winner, Olaf Kölzig, beat him by a mere 20 votes.
For his goal-scoring ability, he is nicknamed "Bonzai" and occasionally "The Slovakian Sniper". During the 1994-1995 (with 34 in a lockout-shortened season) and 1997–1998 seasons (with 52), he led the league in goals scored.
After the 2004-2005 NHL season was canceled due to the NHL labor dispute, Bondra played a handful of games with HK Tatravagónka ŠKP Poprad of the Slovak Extraliga. Prior to the 2005-2006 NHL season, Bondra was in talks to possibly rejoin the Capitals. He ended up signing with the Atlanta Thrashers.
On December 10, Bondra signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. On December 22, 2006, he scored his 500th NHL career goal at the United Center, in Chicago's 3–1 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bondra drove to the net and netted the rebound of Jassen Cullimore's shot from the left point past Toronto's Jean-Sébastien Aubin, 6:37 into the third period on the power play. Peter Bondra became the 37th player in league history to reach the 500–goal mark. Bondra became the 4th player to record his 500th goal in a Chicago Blackhawks sweater joining Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Michel Goulet.
On October 29, 2007, Bondra announced his retirement from professional hockey at the age of 39.
|1986–87||TJ VSŽ Košice||CSSR||32||4||5||9||24||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1987–88||TJ VSŽ Košice||CSSR||45||27||11||38||20||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1988–89||TJ VSŽ Košice||CSSR||40||30||10||40||20||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1989–90||TJ VSŽ Košice||CSSR||49||36||19||55||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004–05||HK ŠKP Poprad||SVK||6||4||2||6||4||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
Bondra has represented Slovakia on seven occasions in international competition, including the 1994 Winter Olympics qualifying tournament, the 1998 Winter Olympics, the 2006 Winter Olympics, the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and the Ice Hockey World Championship in 2002 and 2003. He scored a tournament-leading seven goals (scored the tournament-winning goal 100 seconds to go in third period) and ranked third among all players with nine points to lead Slovakia 4–3 over Russia to the gold medal at the 2002 World Championship. He notched five points (three goals, two assists) in eight games to help Slovakia earn the bronze medal at the 2003 World Championship. Overall, he played 47 games and scored 35 goals on international level for Slovakia.