Our favorite Slovak Caps ever turned 49 last Tuesday, Feb. 7. I wanted to write about it at the day, but some obligations changed my plans.
Drafted in 1990, Peter Bondra is one of the Caps legends and my favorite player ever. In 1,081 games played in the NHL, he recorded 892 points, with 503 goals and 389 assists.
Before Alex Ovechkin, the right-winger used to be the Caps’ player with most goals and points (472 and 825, respectively), but is still as the Caps’ player with most shorthanded goals in a season (6 in 1994-95, tied with Mike Gartner). He holds the records for most shorthanded goals in a career (32) and most game-winning goals in a season (13 in 1997-98) during the same season the Caps won their first (and only) appearance in the Stanley Cup. They lost to the Red Wings by 4-0.
As a Washington Capitals player between 1990-2004, Bonzai has spent 14 of his 18 years in the league.
Hockey is, slowly, becoming popular in Brazil nowadays. But it was in 2000, when the Capitals had that eagle and Capitol logo, that with a lack of internet and video games, became my hockey source of time. I was a lonely hockey fan and I choose my favorite team and my favorite player. The Caps’ eternal #12 was the fastest and the top overall in the team, with 90.
As his favorite Caps fan, at least in Brazil, it’s with so much happiness I watch him attending to a lot of the Capitals’ events, like the Alumni game in 2011. Last year, he surprised a Caps British fan. Another great reason was recently, when he provided great help to Fatima Al Ali, a female hockey player from United Arab Emirates to visit the US as part of “Hockey is for Everyone”.
I have no words to describe the satisfaction that the choice I made when I was six years old still brings me happiness 17 years later. Seeing your childhood hero being as great person as he was as a player, that he’s still so present in the fans’ memories, the Caps itself as an organization, and making such a difference in other people’s lives is inspirational.