Source for Sports Hockey Hall of Fame 2009 Legends Classic

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Dave Sandford & Graig Abel



Peter Stastny(Inducted 1998)

In November 1998 two former Quebec Nordiques players, Michel Goulet and Peter Stastny, became members of the prestigious Hall of Fame in Toronto. The Quebec Nordiques never made it farther in Stanley Cup playoffs than the semifinals. Nonetheless, they were a team who could have won the Cup, given favorable circumstances. After Wayne Gretzky, Peter Stastny was the most prolific scorer in the NHL in the 1980s, and the terrific backup he had in Quebec included his brothers Anton and Marian. In fact, Peter Stastny often went out on the ice as forward on two different attack lines.

Together with his brother Marian, Peter Stastny suddenly appeared on the international scene during the World Championship in Katowice in 1986. It was at this tournament that Poland surprised the Soviet Union with a 6-4 win and opened the door for Czechoslovakia to win the title.

But with the good times came the bad. After an embarrassing loss by the Czechoslovaks at the Lake Placid Olympic Games, newspapers were harsh in their criticism of the three Stastny brothers. It didn't matter that in six matches, Peter had scored seven goals and registered seven assists.

In the summer of 1980, Peter and Anton decided to go abroad, a move that stirred up a lot of emotion in their home country when Peter played for Canada at the 1984 Canada Cup. The Czechoslovakian media called his inclusion a provocation. They complained to the Canadian coaches that there were plenty of good hockey players in Canada and that they had no need to use a player who wasn't Canadian. But the papers weren't quite correct. Peter Stastny had become a Canadian citizen and as such had a perfect right to line up for the game wearing the maple leaf.

Shortly after his 24th birthday, Peter Stastny joined the Quebec Nordiques. In the first match the brothers played together, Peter and Anton lined up against Calgary on October 9, 1980. Five days later Anton scored his first goal and 12 days later Peter scored one into Tony Esposito's net in a game against Chicago. Peter and Anton became the hub of the team. They did whatever was necessary to get points. Over a two-day period in February, something happened that had probably never happened before in the NHL and will probably never happen again. On February 20, 1981, each of the brothers got a hat-trick to lead their team to a 9-3 win in Vancouver. And less than 48 hours later, that feat was improved upon. Peter scored four goals and Anton three and Quebec won the game 11-7. And a third hat-trick was scored in the game by the top scorer on the Nordiques team at the time, Jacques Richard, who scored 52 goals that season.

Peter Stastny got 39 goals in his first season in the NHL and registered 70 assists. This was a record among rookies until the arrival of another European, Finn Teemu Selanne. A year later Stastny registered the most points overall on the team with 139. Peter Stastny, along with Michel Goulet, who topped the list in 1983-84 and again in 1986-87, took over the top scoring positions with Quebec at the time. But Peter clearly reigned as the best passer. In third place behind these two greats during this era was Peter Stastny's younger brother, Anton.

Peter Stastny, representing the Quebec Nordiques, took part in six All-Star games. Near the end of his career, he played for the New Jersey Devils and then the St. Louis Blues. He also suited up for his native Slovakia at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics and the 1995 Pool B World Championships.

He was inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation's Hall of Fame in 2000.

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