|6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
215 lb (98 kg)
|Born||April 13, 1974,|
|NHL Draft||14th overall, 1992|
|Pro Career||1991 – 2015|
Sergei Viktorovich Gonchar (Russian: Серге́й Ви́кторович Гонча́р; IPA: [sʲɪrˈɡʲej ˈvʲiktərəvʲɪtɕ ɡɐnˈtɕar]; born 13 April 1974) is a former Russian professional ice hockey player who is currently a coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins (with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2009), Ottawa Senators, Dallas Stars and the Montreal Canadiens.
Playing career[edit | edit source]
Gonchar was the 1st round pick, 14th overall, of the Washington Capitals in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. He began his North American career in 1994, suiting up in two playoff games for the Capitals' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Portland Pirates. He continued with Portland in 1994–95, before making his NHL debut, with the Capitals, on February 7, 1995 against the Buffalo Sabres. He would appear in 31 games total during the lockout-shortened 1994–95 season. The following year, in his first full-length campaign in the NHL, Gonchar would tally 41 points, showing his potential as an effective offensive defenceman.
On March 3, 2004, in his ninth season with the Capitals, Gonchar was traded to the Boston Bruins for Shaone Morrisonn and two draft picks in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Finishing the season with Boston, he would tally 58 points, leading all league defencemen. Between 2000 and 2004, Gonchar recorded more points than any other defenceman, with 74 goals and 241 points.
During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Gonchar returned to Russia to play for Metallurg Magnitogorsk, where he played with future teammates Petr Sýkora and Evgeni Malkin. After the lockout, Gonchar signed a 5-year, $25 million deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins on August 4, 2005.
In 2006–07, his second season with Pittsburgh, Gonchar tied a career-high with 67 points. In addition to his on-ice duties for the Penguins, Gonchar housed rookie Evgeni Malkin when he arrived from Russia in October 2006.
The following season, Gonchar helped lead the Penguins with offensive superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals – the franchise's first finals appearance since 1992. After a 65-point regular season (the eighth 50-plus point season of his career), Gonchar added 14 points in 20 playoff games en route to a match-up against the Detroit Red Wings. Despite staving off elimination in a game five overtime win, the Penguins were defeated in game six.
During the first game of the 2008–09 pre-season, Gonchar was hit into the boards by David Kočí in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, dislocating his shoulder. It was reported that he would miss 4-6 months after opting for arthroscopic surgery. While both Gonchar and defensive partner Brooks Orpik claimed the hit was late, well after Gonchar had completed a pass, it was asserted by coach Michel Therrien as a clean hit and that Koci had simply "finished his check". With the Penguins struggling to make the playoffs, Gonchar returned to play his first game of the season for the February 14 game against the Toronto Maple Leafs after being sidelined for 21 weeks. He played in the final 25 games of the regular season and tallied 19 points, helping the Penguins into the 2009 playoffs as the fourth seed. However, playing in game four of the Conference Semi-Finals against the Washington Capitals, Gonchar suffered a knee injury after receiving a knee-on-knee hit from Alexander Ovechkin. Despite being initially expected to be out for several weeks and possibly the remainder of the playoffs, Gonchar returned for game seven of the series. Gonchar and the Penguins went on to win the Stanley Cup in seven games, facing the Detroit Red Wings for the second consecutive year. After winning, he revealed he had been playing with a partially torn medial collateral ligament (MCL).
Gonchar was sidelined with injuries again for a total of 20 games in the 2009-10 season. Despite missing time, he went on to record his ninth 50-point season in the past 10 seasons, besting Nicklas Lidström's eight. He also had his 11th season with ten goals or more, tying Sergei Zubov for the most 10+ goal seasons among Russian defencemen. Gonchar finished the season third in points-per-game average among defencemen (behind Norris Trophy nominees Mike Green and Duncan Keith). He set an NHL record on 2 March 2010, by scoring his 200th NHL goal, making him the first Russian defenceman to ever do so.
From the 2000–01 season to the 2009–10 season, Gonchar tallied exactly 500 points, which was second among NHL defencemen only to Nicklas Lidström's 550. Gonchar was also second among NHL defencemen in assists during that span with 372 assists, behind Lidström's 434. He led the League in goals by a defenceman during that span, with 128. Rob Blake was second with 119 goals, while Lidström had 116. Gonchar led the NHL in points-per-game average among NHL defencemen during that span, scoring at 0.80 points per game to Lidström's 0.76 points per game. He also led the league in goals created per game among NHL defencemen with 0.27 to Al MacInnis's 0.26 and Lidström's 0.25. In fact, since his first NHL season in 1995, only Lidström scored more points among defencemen — Lidström tallied 889 points in that time, while Gonchar had 684
On 1 July 2010, Gonchar signed a three-year, $16 million contract with the Ottawa Senators. The deal included a no-trade clause. During the 2012–13 NHL lockout, Gonchar returned to his native Russia to play with the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL)'s Metallurg Magnitogorsk. He was traded on 7 June 2013, to the Dallas Stars in exchange for a conditional sixth-round pick in 2013. On 8 June 2013, Gonchar signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Stars. The following year, on 11 November 2014, Gonchar was again traded, this time to the Montreal Canadiens for left winger Travis Moen.
On 15 May 2015, it was announced by Canadiens' GM Marc Bergevin, that Gonchar would not return to the Montreal Canadiens the next season. Gonchar remained un-signed over the summer, and accepted an invitation to return to the Pittsburgh Penguins' training camp on a try-out basis on 14 August 2015. At the conclusion of training camp and during the pre-season, Gonchar was released by the Penguins on October 3rd 2015. He then announced his retirement 24 days later, and became a development coach for the Penguins
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Played in the NHL All-Star Game in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2008
- Named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 2001 and 2003
- Won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009.
Career statistics[edit | edit source]
|1992–93||HC Dynamo Moscow||RSL||31||1||3||4||70||—||—||—||—||—|
|1993–94||HC Dynamo Moscow||RSL||44||4||5||9||36||—||—||—||—||—|
|1997–98||HC Lada Togliatti||RSL||7||3||2||5||4||—||—||—||—||—|
International play[edit | edit source]
International[edit | edit source]
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|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Sergei Gonchar. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).|