A banner for Bonzai: it is lengthy overdue for Peter Bondra’s No. 12 to be picked up for the rafters


It could’t be denied that, when all is alleged and carried out, Alexander Ovechkin and Niklas Backstrom might be remembered as two of the best gamers in Washington Capitals historical past for so long as they hung up the skates. and their sweater numbers will adorn the rafters of the capital. As soon as upon a time an enviornment. And by that point, he ought to be a part of the man who, earlier than the beginning of Ovechkin, had the title of the franchise “GOAT”.

Drafted by the Capitals within the eighth spherical of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, Peter Bondra spent all however 120 video games of his 1,081-game NHL profession within the Washington Sweater, and served because the staff’s chief till his rebuilding effort within the early 2000s. was the very best participant; As a part of an exodus of veterans, Bondra was launched to the Ottawa Senators on February 18, 2004. as a substitute of brooks lycho And a second-round draft choose was later traded by the Senators to the Colorado Avalanche.

In its 48-year historical past, the Capitals have retired solely 4 numbers: Yvonne LeBray’s No. 7, Rod Langway’s No. 5, Dale Hunter’s No. 32, and most lately (2008), Mike Gartner’s No. 11. All 4 of the aforementioned retirees meant an amazing quantity to the franchise throughout their time in Washington, and it is lengthy overdue for Bondra to hitch their acquainted “12.”

On the time of his commerce at Ottawa, Bondra was the franchise chief in targets (472), factors (825), even-strength (303) and energy play targets (137), game-winning targets (73), and chief in shorthand targets ( 32). He nonetheless ranks second in targets, together with sum-strength/energy play/game-winning targets, and in video games performed (961), surpassing Ovechkin (in most each offensive class) and Backstrom in factors. Fourth, third in factors. and is prime 10 in help. He appeared in 5 All-Star Video games as Capital, main the league in targets twice within the Nineteen Nineties (34 targets in 1994–95 and 52 in 1997–98); He completed within the prime 10 in targets six instances in his profession.

Bondra was additionally a serious part of the Capitals’ unbelievable run to the 1998 Stanley Cup Last (the place they’d be swept in 4 video games by the Detroit Pink Wings), recording 12 factors in 17 video games performed, together with Sport 3. Additionally included the additional time tally. Staff Jap Convention Last matchup in opposition to Buffalo Cebres.

Bondra’s contribution to the Capitals’ success throughout most of his profession within the district will not be misplaced on the staff, as his quantity 12 has been issued solely as soon as since his departure from the staff (ahead Jeff Frisson wore the quantity for a component). 2005–06 season) and he has been concerned in a number of staff initiatives since retiring from skilled hockey. Upon the discharge of the Capitals’ new Reverse Retro jersey, Bondra tweeted his approval of the sweater, together with a point out of his former teammate, goalkeeper Olaf Kolzig (whose quantity 37 has not been launched since leaving the staff in 2008).

In the case of formally declaring Bondra’s No. 12 retired, time is turning into increasingly more of the essence. And the rationale for this goes again to the 2 gamers who overtook them on the Capitals’ totem pole.

Whereas each Ovechkin and Backstrom have only some seasons left on their present contracts, each are of their mid-thirties and it’s most likely protected to imagine that these offers might be their final (Backstrom is Nonetheless recovering from main hip surgical procedure through the low season and haven’t performed this season but). There is no such thing as a doubt that someday their respective numbers might be retired by the staff, and it solely is sensible that Bondra’s personal quantity has been retired by then.

Whereas by no means in a position to seize the Stanley Cup in Washington (There is no such thing as a situation in any means for a quantity to be retired), practically 20 years after his departure as a participant, Bondra’s immeasurable contributions each on and off the ice resonate. And if the quantity 12 will not be reissued, it solely appears applicable to make it “official”.

by Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born right into a household of diehard Capitals followers and has been watching sports activities for so long as he can bear in mind. He was born the yr the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Last, and is a staunch fan of the Caps, having first owned the Joe Beninati jersey and, since then, met Joe himself. Shortly after Schmidt was injured throughout a conditioning stint, his favourite participant turned former Capitals Nate Schmidt after assembly Schmidt to play the Bears at Hershey PA at Hershey PA. Michael can be a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys images, watching WildEarth TV’s Safari Dwell reside safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Picture by Adam Wingen in 2014 at Capitals Growth Camp).

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