More than 15 years after retiring, Peter Bondra is still showing elite skill.
Bondra, who is a frequent participant in Capitals alumni games, was back on the ice this past weekend, teaming up with former Blackhawk Jonathan Toews for a goal straight out of a video game. In a Michigan-style assist, Bondra scooped the puck up from behind an unsuspecting Jaroslav Halak, flipping it over the net before Toews tapped it in.
The play came during Marian Hossa’s Goodbye Game in Slovakia, featuring a star-studded roster that included fellow Capitals alumni Jaroslav Halak, Zdeno Chara, and Michal Kempny. A foggy Pavol Demitra Ice Stadium in Trencin served as the venue.
Check this out! @JonathanToews and I took some notes from @tzegras11 & @27SMiLano this past weekend. Thankful to be a part of Marian Hossa’s “Goodbye Game” in Trencin, Slovakia. Congrats on an outstanding career, Hoss. @Capitals @NHL pic.twitter.com/s1hwBCxsrV
— Peter Bondra (@PeterBondra12) August 20, 2023
Bonzai’s trick shot mirrored an iconic goal by Sonny Milano from his time with the Anaheim Ducks, where he batted in a similar lacrosse pass from Trevor Zegras. Bondra highlighted the comparison on social media, saying he “took some notes” from Zegras and Milano’s feat.
Milano’s alley-oop goal came in December 2021 against the Buffalo Sabres and instantly became a goal-of-the-year candidate. The play turned heads around the league, with even Zegras in disbelief that they’d pulled it off.
“Still can’t believe it worked,” Zegras said after the game, revealing that Milano had asked for the pass. He later added, “for him to whack it out of the air and keep it under the crossbar is pretty incredible.”
In yet another parallel, Milano was wearing Bondra’s own no. 12 at the time, donning the number in both Anaheim and Hershey before switching to no. 15 in Washington.
The farewell game featured a slew of Hossa’s NHL teammates, including Hockey Hall of Famers Nicklas Lidstrom and Daniel Alfredsson. Kempny posted photos from the weekend on Instagram, writing, “I had such a great time with my former teammates, old friends. Met lot of great players, legends of Hockey. It was such a privilege to be part of Marian Hossa Goodbye Game.”
Chara and Toews presented Hossa with a parting gift after the game, a jersey commemorating the event signed by the more than 30 players in attendance.
Screenshot via @PeterBondra12/X
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