Perhaps the second-best player in Capitals history after Alex Ovechkin, Peter Bondra was one of the NHL’s premier scorers during his prime. With over 500 goals and nearly 900 points, Bondra certainly seems deserving of a spot in the Hall of Fame. The problem? He’s not.
In his 14 seasons with the Capitals alone, the man affectionately known as Bonzai scored 472 goals and recorded 353 assists for a total of 825 points in 961 games. Many players never come close to those numbers in their career.
Drafted by the Caps in the eighth-round (156th overall) of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, Bondra established himself as one of the NHL’s best goal scorers during the 1990’s, which included two 52-goal seasons. In his 14th season with the Caps, Bondra was traded to the Ottawa Senators for Brooks Laich and a second-round draft pick as part of the team’s ongoing rebuild.
After leaving the Capitals, Bondra played three more seasons with the Senators, Atlanta Thrashers, and the Chicago Blackhawks before announcing his retirement. In 17 seasons in the NHL, Bondra finished with 503 goals, 389 assists, and 892 points in 1,089 games played. According to Hockey Reference’s adjusted scoring statistic, Bondra would have 549 goals, 398 assists, and 947 points.
While he was never the highest-scoring player in the league, many players never come close to reaching the success Bondra did. What do you think Caps fans? Should Bondra be in hockey’s hallowed hall?
By Michael Fleetwood