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Michael Anthony Peca (born March 26, 1974) is a Canadianmarker professional ice hockey forward who is currently an unrestricted free agent in the National Hockey League (NHL). He most recently played for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL. He has also played for the Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Playing career

Peca began his junior career with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) after they selected him in the first round of the 1990 player draft. He was traded to the Ottawa 67's where he blossomed into one of the leagues top offensive players. He was selected to represent Canada at the 1994 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. He captained the Canadian team at the 2001 World Championships in Germanymarker. His nickname was "Captain Crunch" because of his penchant for delivering bone-crushing open ice hits.

Peca was drafted in the second round, 40th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. Peca has twice won the Frank J. Selke Trophy for being the best defensive forward, in 1996–97 and 2001–02. Peca captained the Buffalo Sabres to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1999. He was a member and alternate captain of the gold medal-winning Canadian ice hockey team at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake Citymarker. He was acquired by the Edmonton Oilers in a trade with the New York Islanders in exchange for Mike York.

Peca was part of the Cinderella Edmonton Oiler team that made a run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Peca had 6 goals and 5 assists in the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

On July 18, 2006, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that they had signed Peca as a free agent to a one-year $2.5 million contract for the 2006–07 NHL season.

During a game against the Blackhawks on December 22, 2006, Peca collided with Chicago defenceman Jim Vandermeer in the Toronto zone with 5:17 left in the first period. Vandermeer was assessed a minor penalty and a game misconduct for the hit. Peca sustained a fractured tibia at the base of his right knee and suffered significant ligament damage. He missed the remainder of the 2006–07 season.

On August 21, 2007, Peca signed a one-year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets. On October 11, 2008, Peca received an indefinite suspension (later reduced to a five game suspension) after grabbing referee Greg Kimmerly's arm in Columbus' first game of the 2008 season.

Peca is one of six players currently playing in the NHL to be captain for two different teams. The active players who share this honour are Chris Drury, Chris Pronger, Rob Blake, Adam Foote, and Doug Weight.

Contract dispute

For the 2000–01 season, Peca and the Buffalo Sabres couldn't agree on a contract. Peca went without a contract the entire season. Peca was later traded to the New York Islanders for Tim Connolly and Taylor Pyatt, where he led the Islanders to their first playoff berth in seven years.

Despite the apparent bad blood, in the summer of 2007, then unrestricted free agent (UFA) Peca told the Buffalo News that he'd be willing to come back to the Sabres. However, the Sabres' front office didn't sign him despite the loss of veteran co-captain centers Daniel Brière and Chris Drury.

Career statistics

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1990–91 Sudbury Wolves OHL 62 14 27 41 24 5 1 0 1 7
1991–92 Sudbury Wolves OHL 39 16 34 50 61
1991–92 Ottawa 67's OHL 27 8 17 25 32 11 6 10 16 6
1992–93 Hamilton Canucks AHL 9 6 3 9 11
1992–93 Ottawa 67's OHL 55 38 64 102 80
1993–94 Ottawa 67's OHL 55 50 63 113 101 17 7 22 29 30
1993–94 Vancouver Canucks NHL 4 0 0 0 2
1994–95 Vancouver Canucks NHL 33 6 6 12 30 5 0 1 1 8
1994–95 Syracuse Crunch AHL 35 10 24 34 75
1995–96 Buffalo Sabres NHL 68 11 20 31 67
1996–97 Buffalo Sabres NHL 79 20 29 49 80 10 0 2 2 8
1997–98 Buffalo Sabres NHL 61 18 22 40 57 13 3 2 5 8
1998–99 Buffalo Sabres NHL 82 27 29 56 81 21 5 8 13 18
1999–00 Buffalo Sabres NHL 73 20 21 41 67 5 0 1 1 4
2001–02 New York Islanders NHL 80 25 35 60 62 5 1 0 1 2
2002–03 New York Islanders NHL 66 13 29 42 43 5 0 0 0 4
2003–04 New York Islanders NHL 76 11 29 40 71 5 0 0 0 6
2005–06 Edmonton Oilers NHL 71 9 14 23 56 24 6 5 11 20
2006–07 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 35 4 11 15 60
2007–08 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 65 8 26 34 64
2008–09 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 71 4 18 22 58 4 0 0 0 2
NHL totals 864 176 289 465 798 97 15 19 34 80
OHL totals 238 126 205 331 298 33 14 32 46 43


International play



References and footnotes

  1. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/stories/2002-03-11-peca-return.htm


See also



External links



Note: While Peca was injured during (part of) the 1997–98 season, Donald Audette served as captain.
Additionally, Peca sat out the 2000–01 NHL season, in a contract dispute (later asking for a trade). The Sabres captaincy remained vacant, until after Peca was traded.


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