The Washington Capitals have had some very good players over the course of their history. Rod Langway, Yvon Labre, Dale Hunter, and Mike Gartner have all had their numbers retired by the Washington Capitals. There is one player missing from that list: Peter Bondra.
It’s a darn shame that the Washington Capitals have yet to retire the number of arguably their second best wing ever. Peter Bondra is among the franchise career leaders in numerous categories, including:
- Second in games played (961)
- First in goals (472)
- Eighth in assists (353)
- First in points (825)
- First in even strength goals (303)
- Second in power play goals (137)
- First in short handed goals (32)
- First in game winning goals (73)
If you aren’t impressed with those numbers, consider that Peter Bondra played for the Capitals while they were more defense-focused. Bondra was the focal point of the Washington Capitals offense during his tenure with them. He was an extremely fast and skilled skater. Whenever my friends and I would play street hockey, I always imagined myself as Peter Bondra.
Bondra never had the hardest shot, but he could place his shots anywhere he wanted. His accuracy was truly something to behold. His quick release was a nightmare for opposing goalies. There was more to Bondra than just his offense. Bondra was solid defensively as well. His 32 short handed goals are proof of that.
Not only was Peter Bondra a terrific player on ice, he was, and still is, very active in the community. Whenever there’s an alumni event, Bondra is almost always there. When he comes to games, he’ll gladly talk to fans and happily pose for pictures with them.
The Washington Capitals have done wrong by not honoring Peter Bondra with a retired number. I would love to see them correct that wrong and give Bondra the recognition and accolade that he deserves. Bondra exemplifies what it means to be a Capital, both on and off the ice. He deserved to have his number retired years ago, so hopefully the Washington Capitals come to their senses and put that #12 banner in the risers.