Fans had to order generic Capitals jerseys at Verizon Center on Monday...
Happy Birthday, Bonzai!
Peter Bondra carries the puck away from Pittsburgh’s defenseman Francois Leroux during the Winter Classic alumni game at Heinz Field.
Today is Peter Bondra’s 45th birthday. What can you say about the man? He was one of the most prolific goal scorers in Washington history and one of the most electrifying players in his era. Some of his all-time records:
- 3rd all-time in playoff scoring (56 points)
- 1st all-time in playoff goals scored (30)
- 1st all-time in playoff power play goals (13)
- 1st all-time in playoff game winning goals scored (6)
- 1st all-time in goals scored (472)
- 1st all-time in points (825)
- 1st all-time in power play goals (137)
- 1st all-time in shorthanded goals (32)
- 1st all-time in hat tricks (19)
There’s more, but I think you all get the point.
Bondra was born in Lutsk, Ukraine and was originally drafted in the 8th round (156th overall) of the 1990 Entry Draft. Before that, he played for 3 seasons with Kosice HC in the Czech League. He played with Washington until he was traded in the 2003-2004 season to Ottawa for current Cap Brooks Laich and a second round draft pick. He also played for Atlanta and Chicago before officially announcing his retirement from the NHL on October 29th, 2007. Bondra also was the general manager for the Slovak national team from 2007 to 2011. He can still be seen at Capitals game from time to time.
So what should Bonzai get for his birthday? I have two suggestions:
1) A beer- I have heard so many times through social media that people have seen Bondra at the Verizon Center for games, but I have yet to hear anyone buy the man a beer. Go buy him a beer, shake his hand, thank him for what he did for the city and the organization, and carry on. It’s the least we can do for the years of excitement he brought the fans and organization.
2) A jersey retirement ceremony- Listen, since the Capitals have now become notorious for hanging pointless banners from the rafters, can the organization hang one that makes the most sense? There’s not another player that I can think of that deserves this cherished honor more than Bonzai. It’s long overdue and should be done sooner than later.
So from us here at Capitals Outsider, happy birthday Bonzai and here’s to another year of health and happiness!