Peter Bondra Profile

Peter Bondra (Slovak pronunciation: eter “bondra,” born on February 7, 1968) is Ukraine-born Slovak former professional ice hockey player. As the team’s general manager, he was a part of the Slovakia national team from 2007 until 2011. A two-time 50-goal scorer, Bondra was an 37th athlete on the National Hockey League (NHL) history to have scored 500 NHL goals. Bondra has the smallest number of points of all players who made it to that point with 892. Bondra was the player with the best goals for the NHL in two seasons, 1994-95 and 1997-98. He is one of a few players who scored 5 or more goals a single game in the NHL.

Family and life

Bondra is born 1968 in Bakivtsi, Lutsk Raion, Ukraine, which was then part of the Soviet Union. The father of Bondra (a Rusyn) had moved to Lutsk from Jakubany, Czechoslovakia, when at the age of 16, which was also the place where he met his future wife (a Pole). The family moved together Peter along with his older brothers, Juraj and Vladimir, to Poprad when Peter was three years old. His father died in 1982.

Bondra used to be a Soviet citizen when he arrived in the United States, later obtaining a Slovak passport and citizenship in 1993 prior to the beginning in 1994’s Winter Olympics qualifying tournament. After having lived in Crofton, Maryland, Bondra lives at Riva and is married to Luba, their daughter Petra and their two sons David and Nick. Bondra has been a part of numerous alumni matches and also with the present Capitals team. His daughter David is an forward of Bratislava Capitals and also plays for the Slovak national team, similarly to his father. His son, Nick started his college professional career with Amherst College in 2017.

Professionally active

Bondra played one season for HK Poprad in the lower levels of the Czechoslovak league, before being transferred onto VSZ Kosice in the First Division at the age of 18. His elder brother Juraj was also a player as a defensive player, and had already been awarded a championship for the team in the preceding year. In his first year at Kosice, Peter was considered one of the top players in the Czechoslovak league, and won the league championship along with his brother in the year 1988.

National Hockey League

Bondra was drafted in the Washington Capitals in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, 156th overall. Prior to joining the Capitals the team, he was with TJ VSZ Kosice (now called HC Kosice) for four seasons from 1986 to 1990 in Czechoslovakia. After moving to Washington, Bondra became one of the top goal-scorers in the 1990s. Due to the language barrier, he became an ally of the Ukrainian born Capitals player Dmitri Khristich who was a frequent conversation partner in both Russian and Ukrainian. His longest playoff run came in 1997-98 and the Capitals made it to the Stanley Cup Finals before being lost to Detroit’s Detroit Red Wings. In the 2003-04 season Bondra’s 14th season with Washington, the Capitals were a disappointment and in a salary reduction move, they traded some of the veterans of the team to contenders. The result was that Bondra was traded to the Ottawa Senators for Brooks Laich and a second round draft pick. At the press conference announcing the trade, Bondra notably broke into tears.

In his 14-year stint playing for the Capitals, Bondra scored 472 goals and recorded 353 assists over 961 games. Bondra holds the Capitals team record in quick-handed scoring (32). Alongside Washington Bondra was a participant in five All-Star Games (1993, 1996, 1997, 1998 along with 1999). Both in 1997 and 1999 Bondra took home an award for the Fastest Skater Competition on the All-Star Weekend. In 2004, the Capitals conducted a poll of fans to determine the top 30 players of franchise history to commemorate their 30th season with the team. Bondra was second having received 2,018 votes. He was defeated by Olaf Kolzig, beat Bondra by just 20 votes.

In the 1994-95 (with 34 goals scored in a lockout shortened season) in 1997 and 1998 (with the 52), Bondra led the league in goals scored, even though the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy for the most goals scored during a season did not exist before the 1997-99 campaign.

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After 2004, the NHL season was canceled due to labor disputes in the NHL labor dispute, Bondra was spotted playing a couple of times with HK Tatravagonka SKP Poprad of the Slovak Extraliga. Before the 2005-06 season, Bondra was in talks about a return to the Capitals however, Bondra ended up signing with the Atlanta Thrashers for one season.

On the 10th of December, Bondra announced he would sign a one year deal to the Chicago Blackhawks. On the 22nd of December on the 22nd of December in 2006, he recorded his 500th NHL career goal at the United Center, in Chicago’s 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bondra was able to get his foot in the net and scored the rebound of Jassen Cullimore’s shot from left-hand side, beating Toronto’s JeanSebastien Aubin, 6:37 into 3rd period on the power play. Bondra was the 37th player in league history to reach the 500-goal mark and the fourth player in league history to achieve his 500th goal wearing a Blackhawks jersey, along with Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Michel Goulet.

On October 29, 2007, Bondra announced his retirement from professional hockey at the age of 39. Since his retirement, Bondra has represented Colosseo USA, a Slovak company that creates custom video scoreboards.

International play

Bondra has represented Slovakia at seven times in international competitions, 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 tournament-leading seven goals (including the game-winning goal) and was third out of the players who scored nine points, leading Slovakia 4-3 against Russia to win the bronze medal from the 2002 World Championship. He scored 5 points (three goals, 2 assists) in eight games to help Slovakia achieve their bronze award at the 2003 World Championship. In total, he was in the field for 47 matches and scored 35 goals on behalf of Slovakia.

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