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Though the Capitals teams of the 1990's weren't known for having particularly dangerous offenses, there was always one player that the opposition had to be aware of, and that player was Peter Bondra.
Bondra's deadly blend of speed, finesse and skill helped him terrorize goalies for over a decade in a Capitals uniform, and he helped the franchise reach unprecedented heights.
Due to the fact that Europeans were just beginning to defect to the NHL, Bondra was drafted 156th Overall in 1990, and proved to be a bit of a late bloomer. His career with the Caps began in rather ordinary fashion, as he managed just 40 goals combined in his first two seasons in North America.
However, from there the slick Slovakian's career took flight. In 1992-93, Bondra broke out with a 37-goal, 85-point season, and two years later he lead the NHL in goals with 34 in just 47 games.
Bondra would go on to rack up four seasons of at least 45 goals, including 52 in 1995-96 and 1997-98. He twice lead the entire league in goals, and more importantly, he helped Washington reach their first Stanley Cup Finals in 1998, and lead the team in goals that spring as well.
Sadly, Bondra's career in Washington came to an end in 2003-04, when General Manager George McPhee auctioned off all of the team's expensive assets in preparation for the lockout, and Bondra was shipped to Ottawa in exchange for Brooks Laich.
Though his numbers tailed off from there, Bondra eventually joined the exclusive 500-goal club during his final season with the Chicago Blackhawks. He holds the franchise career records for goals and points, and it shouldn't be too long before Capitals fans see Bondra's No. 12 hanging alongside Gartner's No. 11 at the Verizon Center.