Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Born on this date in 1963 in Dabrowa Bialostocka in northeast Poland, Peter Sidorkiewicz came to Canada with his family and settled in Oshawa, where he played his junior hockey for four years, including a trip to the Memorial Cup Final in 1983.
He was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, but before he could play for the Capitals, his rights were traded to the Hartford Whalers. After three seasons in the AHL playing for the Binghamton Whalers, including a 31-9-5 record in 1984-85, he made his NHL debut with a single appearance in the 1987-88 season on October 16, 1987. According to our research, Sidorkiewicz became just the third player in NHL history born in Poland after John Miszuk (1964) and Nick Harbaruk (1970) and preceding Mariusz Czerkawski (1994) Krzysztof Oliwa (1997) and Wojtek Wolski (2006).
He made the Whalers lineup the following season, playing in 44 games as he shared time with Mike Liut, posting a 22-18-4 mark with four shutouts, which earned him a spot on the 1989 NHL All-Rookie Team. After the Whalers were ousted from the playoffs, Sidorkiewicz joined Team Canada at the 1989 World Championships in time to appear in one game, the only international experience of his career.
His playing time increased over the next two seasons as he became the Whalers clear #1 goalie and guided Hartford into the playoffs both seasons.
Sidorkiewicz with Hartford in 1991-92
After seeing his playing time reduced from 52 games to 35 in the 1991-92 season, Sidorkiewicz was left unprotected in the 1992 NHL Expansion Draft, where he was claimed by the Ottawa Senators for their debut season.
Life with the expansion Senators was a mixed blessing for Sidorkiewicz, as he was once more the clear number one goalie for the Ottawa, seeing plenty of action in 64 games, a career high at for him any level of hockey. On the other hand, the woeful Senators finished dead last in goals scored with 202, 167 less than the Detroit Red Wings. Their porous defense allowed the other teams too many chances on goal, and while Sidorkiewicz played well enough to be named the Senators representative at the 1993 NHL All-Star Game, the Senators finished the season with only ten wins to their credit, of which Sidorkiewicz had eight.
As the Senators were looking to build their roster, Sidorkiewicz was viewed as one of their few tradable assets and was sent to the New Jersey Devils a year and two days after being claimed by the Senators.
The move all but ended Sidorkiewicz's NHL career, as the Devils already had the goaltending tandem of Martin Brodeur and Chris Terreri. As a result, Sidorkiewicz spent the majority of the 1993-94 season with the Albany River Rats in the AHL and the Fort Wayne Komets of the IHL, including a run of 18 playoff games as the Komets went all the way to the Turner Cup Finals. He did make three appearances for New Jersey, but despite only giving up six goals, did not help his case with three losses on his record.
Back with Fort Wayne for the 1994-95 season, he fought for playing time in the crowded Comets crease, playing in just 16 games, third among the five goalies used by Fort Wayne that season.
Things improved the next season when he returned to Albany and played 32 games in conjunction with the up-and-coming Mike Dunham. With Dunham now up in New Jersey as Brodeur's understudy, Sidorkiewicz got the bulk of the playing time in 1996-97, going 31-23-6 in 62 games as well as starting in 16 playoff games.
Sidorkiewicz final season saw him again split time in goal for Albany, going 21-15-5 as well as making one final NHL appearance with New Jersey in 1997-98, giving up one goal in 20 minutes of action. It was only his fourth game with the Devils in the five seasons after his trade away from being the starter in Ottawa.
Sidorkiewicz in a rare appearance for the Devils
Today's featured jersey is a 1992-93 Ottawa Senators Peter Sidorkiewicz jersey. The Senators debut season saw them wearing the Stanley Cup Centennial patch, which was worn by all the teams that season.
The Senators original black jerseys had black on the arms in between the red stripes and red numbers with white trim. Additionally, they had a red waist stripe over a somewhat thinner black stripe. On the back, the numbers were red with white outlines. This specification remained in effect for only one season, as they reversed the colors of the numbers for their second season, changing them to a more legible white with red trim, which lasted until the end of the 1994-95 season.
While Sidorkiewicz isn't in this video, we won't let that stop us from posting a history of Senators goalie fights, especially since Sidorkiewicz doesn't seem to appear in any video online anywhere.