Sergei Gonchar is a Russian defenseman on the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Gonchar played for Traktor Chelyabinsk and Dynamo Moscow in the Russian SuperLeague before being drafted by the Washington Capitals. Gonchar played with Washington from 1995 being traded to Boston at the end of the 2004 season. Gonchar is known mostly for his offensive production, as he led the league’s defensemen in scoring every season from 2001-2004.
He returned to play in Russia during the lockout, and skated with current teammates Evgeny Malkin and Petr Sykora for Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Upon returning to the NHL, he signed with the Penguins where he became a veteran leader for the young squad. He was one of the assistant captains, and led the Penguins in average ice time most nights. He has racked up over 680 points, and has scored at least 50 points in 9 of the last 10 seasons.
With the Penguins, Gonchar helped the team become one of the elite teams in the entire league. He struggled with injuries in the last two seasons, but managed to perform at full form in the playoffs regardless, helping the Pens reach back-to-back Cup Finals in 2008 and 2009. He won his first career Stanley Cup in 2009, but was not re-signed by the Pens after his contract expired at the end of the 2009-10 season. He signed with Ottawa shortly after free agency opened, giving them a veteran blueliner that can score on a consistent basis, something they have not had in some time.
Gonchar has played for Team Russia numerous times. He won silver at Nagano in 1998, and bronze in 2002, as well as playing in two World Cups, two world championships and the 1997 World Junior Championships.
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