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Joueurs

PETR SVOBODA (1984-1992)

Petr
Svoboda

1952-1963
Position D
Shoots L
Weight 183lbs
Height 6'1"
Date of birth February 14th, 1966
Place of birth Most, CZE
Seasons - MTL 8
Statistiques
SEASON
SEASON
GP Games played - Number of games the player has set foot on the ice
G Goals - Number of goals the player has scored
A Assists - Number of goals the player has assisted in
PTS Points - Scoring points, calculated as the sum of G and A
+/- Plus/Minus - The number of team goals for minus the number of team goals against while the player is on the ice
PIM Penalties infraction minutes - Number of penalty minutes the player has been assessed
TOTALS 534 39 190 229 162 761
1984-1985 73 4 27 31 16 65
1985-1986 73 1 18 19 24 93
1986-1987 70 5 17 22 14 63
1987-1988 69 7 22 29 46 149
1988-1989 71 8 37 45 28 147
1989-1990 60 5 31 36 20 98
1990-1991 60 4 22 26 5 52
1991-1992 58 5 16 21 9 94
SEASON
SEASON
GP Games played - Number of games the player has set foot on the ice
G Goals - Number of goals the player has scored
A Assists - Number of goals the player has assisted in
PTS Points - Scoring points, calculated as the sum of G and A
+/- Plus/Minus - The number of team goals for minus the number of team goals against while the player is on the ice
PIM Penalties infraction minutes - Number of penalty minutes the player has been assessed
TOTALS 72 2 28 30 5 75
1984-1985 7 1 1 2 0 12
1985-1986 8 0 0 0 2 21
1986-1987 14 0 5 5 -1 10
1987-1988 10 0 5 5 1 12
1988-1989 21 1 11 12 -3 16
1989-1990 10 0 5 5 7 2
1990-1991 2 0 1 1 -1 2

THE FIRST CZECH PLAYER TO DON A CANADIENS JERSEY, DEFENSEMAN PETR SVOBODA PROVED HIS WORTH TO THE HABS’ BRASS, AS MANAGEMENT WAS FALLING OVER ITSELF TO DRAFT HIM IN 1984.

The Canadiens caused a stir at the 1984 NHL Entry Draft at the Forum when they selected Czechoslovakian defenseman Petr Svoboda fifth overall in the first round. No one was aware that he was in Montreal and his presence turned more than a few heads when he stepped up on stage after his selection. If other general managers had known what Serge Savard knew, Svoboda might have been chosen as high as second overall behind Mario Lemieux.

The story behind it all is incredible. He fled communist Eastern Europe during the 1984 European Championships in West Germany. Without telling anyone, he went to stay with his aunt in Munich. Savard was the only other person aware of what was going on and he promised Svoboda that he would draft him quickly and guaranteed a five-year contract worth $750,000. Svoboda holed up in a Montreal hotel until the draft.

Despite the odd path taken to reach the league, he became the first Czech player in league history to play 1,000 games.

He spoke neither English nor French upon joining the Canadiens. Larry Robinson and Rick Green took him under their wings to help him adapt to his new surroundings.

Svoboda was a smooth-skating, mobile defenseman with good hands and great hockey sense. Despite his slight frame, he didn’t shy away from playing a physical game.

In his first season with the Canadiens in 1984-85, he posted 31 points in 73 games. In his second season, he helped the team win the Stanley Cup.

During the 1991-92 season, his ninth with the Habs, he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Kevin Haller. In 534 games with the Canadiens, Svoboda had 39 goals and 190 assists for 229 points.

After three years in Buffalo, he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers. He ended his career with the Tampa Bay Lightning, announcing his retirement on May 3, 2002.

In addition to his remarkable NHL career, Svoboda scored the gold medal-winning goal for the Czech Republic against Russia at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano.