Sergei Gonchar

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Sergei Gonchar
Сергей Гончар
Sergei Gonchar 2013-05-24.JPG
Gonchar pictured during his time as a member of the Senators.
Born (1974-04-13) April 13, 1974 (age 40)
Chelyabinsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Dallas Stars
Washington Capitals
Boston Bruins
Pittsburgh Penguins
Metallurg Magnitogorsk
Ottawa Senators
National team  Russia
NHL Draft 14th overall, 1992
Washington Capitals
Playing career 1991–present

Sergei Viktorovich Gonchar (Russian: Серге́й Викторович Гончар; born April 13, 1974) is a Russian professional ice hockey player. Gonchar is currently a member of the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has also played for the Washington Capitals, the Boston Bruins, the Pittsburgh Penguins, with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2009, and the Ottawa Senators.

Playing career

Sergei Gonchar began his professional career in 1991 with Traktor Chelyabinsk in the Soviet Championship League. He also played two seasons for Dynamo Moscow.

Gonchar was the first 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.1 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.

In the 1998–99 season, Gonchar became the first Russian defenseman to score over 20 goals in regular-season play.2 The following season, Gonchar would break the 50-point mark for the first time in his career. He would also finish in fifth place in Norris Trophy voting as the NHL's best defenceman.3

After 57- and 67-point (tied for a career high) seasons in 2000–01 and 2002–03 respectively, Gonchar was named to the Second All-Star Team both seasons.

On March 3, 2004, in his tenth season with the Capitals, Gonchar was traded to the Boston Bruins for Shaone Morrisonn and two draft picks. Finishing the season with Boston, he would tally 58 points, leading all NHL defencemen.1 Between 2000 and 2004, Gonchar recorded more points than any other defenceman, with 74 goals and 241 points. 4

Sergei Gonchar in action with Pittsburgh
Gonchar with the Penguins.

During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Gonchar returned to Russia to play for Metallurg Magnitogorsk, where he played with future Pittsburgh teammates Petr Sýkora and Evgeni Malkin.1 After the lockout, Gonchar signed a five-year, $25 million deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins on August 4, 2005.5 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 2006.6

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, as the Penguins lost in the finals to the Detroit Red Wings. Gonchar placed fourth in Norris Trophy voting, tying his best-ever placing for the league's best defenceman.citation needed

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.7 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".89 With the Penguins struggling to make the playoffs, Gonchar returned to play his first game of the season on February 14, 2009, against the Toronto Maple Leafs after being sidelined for 21 weeks.10 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 serious knee injury. Despite being initially expected to be out for several weeks and possibly the remainder of the playoffs,11 Gonchar returned for game seven of the series.12 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.13

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 Lidstrom's eight. He also had his eleventh season with 10 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 March 2, 2010, by scoring his 200th NHL goal, making him the first Russian defenceman to ever do so in the NHL.citation needed

From the 2000–01 season to the 2009–10 season, Gonchar tallied exactly 500 points, which was second among NHL defensemen only to Nicklas Lidstrom's 550 points.14 Gonchar was also second among NHL defensemen in assists during that span with 372 assists, behind Lidstrom's 434 assists. However, he led the league in goals by a defenseman during that span, scoring 128 goals. Rob Blake was second with 119 goals, while Lidstrom had 116 goals. Gonchar would actually lead the NHL in points-per-game average among NHL defensemen during that span, scoring at 0.80 points per game to Lidstrom's 0.76 points per game. He would also lead the league in goals created per game among NHL defensemen with 0.27 to Al MacInnis's 0.26 and Lidstrom's 0.25. In fact, since his first NHL season in 1995, only Lidstrom has scored more points among defencemen. Lidstrom tallied 889 points in that time, while Gonchar tallied 684 points.15 Scott Niedermayer was third with 653 points.

Gonchar skating with the Senators in 2011.

On July 1, 2010, Gonchar signed a three-year, $16 million contract with the NHL's Ottawa Senators.16 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's Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

Gonchar was traded on June 7, 2013 to the Dallas Stars for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. On June 8, Gonchar signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Stars.17

Awards

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1991–92 Traktor Chelyabinsk CIS 31 1 0 1 6  —  —  —  —  —
1992–93 HC Dynamo Moscow IHL 31 1 3 4 70  —  —  —  —  —
1993–94 HC Dynamo Moscow IHL 44 4 5 9 36  —  —  —  —  —
1994–95 Portland Pirates AHL 61 10 32 42 67  —  —  —  —  —
1994–95 Washington Capitals NHL 31 2 5 7 22 7 2 2 4 2
1995–96 Washington Capitals NHL 78 15 26 41 60 6 2 4 6 4
1996–97 Washington Capitals NHL 57 13 17 30 36  —  —  —  —  —
1997–98 HC Lada Togliatti RSL 7 3 2 5 4  —  —  —  —  —
1997–98 Washington Capitals NHL 72 5 16 21 66 21 7 4 11 30
1998–99 Washington Capitals NHL 53 21 10 31 57  —  —  —  —  —
1999–00 Washington Capitals NHL 73 18 36 54 52 5 1 0 1 6
2000–01 Washington Capitals NHL 76 19 38 57 70 6 1 3 4 2
2001–02 Washington Capitals NHL 76 26 33 59 58  —  —  —  —  —
2002–03 Washington Capitals NHL 82 18 49 67 52 6 0 5 5 4
2003–04 Washington Capitals NHL 56 7 42 49 44  —  —  —  —  —
2003–04 Boston Bruins NHL 15 4 5 9 12 7 1 4 5 4
2004–05 Metallurg Magnitogorsk RSL 40 2 17 19 57 4 1 1 2 6
2005–06 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 75 12 46 58 100  —  —  —  —  —
2006–07 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 82 13 54 67 72 5 1 3 4 2
2007–08 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 78 12 53 65 66 20 1 13 14 8
2008–09 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 25 6 13 19 26 22 3 11 14 12
2009–10 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 62 11 39 50 49 13 2 10 12 4
2010–11 Ottawa Senators NHL 67 7 20 27 20  —  —  —  —  —
2011–12 Ottawa Senators NHL 74 5 32 37 55 7 1 3 4 6
2012–13 Metallurg Magnitogorsk KHL 37 3 26 29 40  —  —  —  —  —
2012–13 Ottawa Senators NHL 45 3 24 27 26 10 0 6 6 14
NHL totals 1177 217 558 775 943 135 22 68 90 98

International play

Olympic medal record
Men's ice hockey
Silver 1998 Nagano Ice hockey
Bronze 2002 Salt Lake City Ice hockey
World Championships
Bronze 2007 Russia
Silver 2010 Germany

Gonchar is a two-time Olympic medal-winner with Team Russia. He earned a silver medal at the 1998 Games, and a bronze medal at the 2002 Games. Gonchar met his future wife, Xenia Smetanenko, then a figure skater for Armenia, at the 1998 Nagano Olympic games.

In addition, Gonchar also competed in the 1993 World Junior Championship, two World Cups and two World Championships.

International statistics
Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
1993 Russia WJC 6th 7 0 2 2 10
1996 Russia WCH SF 4 2 2 4 2
1998 Russia Oly 2 6 0 2 2 0
2000 Russia WC 11th 6 1 0 1 2
2002 Russia Oly 3 6 0 0 0 2
2004 Russia WCH 5th 4 1 2 3 6
2006 Russia Oly 4th 8 0 2 2 8
2007 Russia WC 3 9 1 4 5 4
2010 Russia Oly 6th 4 1 0 1 2
2010 Russia WC 2 5 0 4 4 0
Senior int'l totals 52 6 16 22 26

See also

References

External links

Preceded by
Trevor Halverson
Washington Capitals first round draft pick
1992
Succeeded by
Brendan Witt







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