Thursday, May 31, 2012
Today's story is one of globe-trekking international travel and collecting as many stamps in one's passport as humanly possible, for on this date in 1977, Petr Tenkrát was born in Kladno, Czechoslovakia.
His career began innocently enough, giving no clue as to what was to follow, as Tenkrát began playing for his hometown HC Kladno in 1994-95 with a single game. The right winger increased his games played to 20 in 1995-96 and 43 in 1996-97, which included his first goals as a professional. By the time Tenkrát began his professional career, Czechoslovakia had split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, with Tenkrát making his international debut with the Czech Republic in the 1997 World Junior Championship, collecting his first passport stamp as the tournament was held in Switzerland.
He would play two additional seasons with Kladno, with his final one in 1998-99 seeing his offensive production leap up from 9 goals and 19 points to 21 goals and 35 points in 50 games. His potential was recognized by being selected by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
While he remained in Europe for the 1999-00 season, the first steps of his trek began in earnest as he moved from the Czech Extraliga to the Finnish SM-Liiga, joining HPK Hämeenlinna, scoring 20 goals and 29 points in 32 games. He remained in Finland for the 1999-00 season, only this time with Ilves Tampere.
He crossed the Atlantic for the first time in 2000-01, splitting time between the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the AL and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the NHL. He had an unsettled 2001-02 season, playing for both Anaheim and Cincinnati before being traded to the Nashville Predators, with whom he would play 58 games, as well as an additional 4 with their top AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals.
It was back across the Atlantic for the 2002-03 season, joining Kärpät Oulu in Finland, where he fit right in, setting a career high with 40 points in 51 games. Kärpät would make it to the SM-Liiga finals, coming away with a silver medal.
His passport gained another stamp, as Tenkrát would begin the season with Khimik Voskresensk of the Russian Super League, where he would play 19 games before returning to Kärpät for the remainder of the 2003-04 season, impressively setting a career high with 22 goals in just 35 games. Kärpät would go on to win the league championship later that season and go back-to-back with a second title in 2005.
He would play one additional season in Oulu, averaging 37 points over his four seasons with Kärpät. Following the Finnish playoffs, he would return to the Czech Republic National Team for the 2006 World Championships in Latvia, where he earned a silver medal.
He next returned to the United States to join the Boston Bruins, who had acquired his NHL rights while he was in Finland. Typical of his NHL career, Tenkrát spent some time in the AHL, 7 games with the Providence Bruins, but the vast majority of 54 games was with Boston. It was back across the Atlantic once again to play in the 2007 World Championships in Moscow.
For the start of the 2007-08 season it was back to Kladno for 13 games before signing with Timrå IK in Sweden. 2008-09 was a repeat, playing for both Kladno and Timrå.
The pattern continued in 2009-10 with Kladno again, but his Swedish destination was Skellefteå AIK.
For the fourth season in a row, he played in two different countries, this time with Skellefteå in Sweden (9 games) and Kärpät in Finland for 45 games. For 2011-12, his nomadic career returned back to the Czech Republic in fine style, as he set career highs with 23 goals and 48 points with HC Sparta Prague in his 18th season of play.
He capped off his season with a bronze medal at the 2012 World Championships, held on familiar ground in both Sweden and Finland for what we calculate to be his 22nd border crossing among 7 countries to date, while generating a litany of game worn jerseys in his wake.
Today's featured jersey is a 2003-04 Kärpät Oulu Petr Tenkrát jersey as worn during Tenkrát's return to Kärpät, which translates to a stoat or an ermine, following his tenure with Khimik in Russia.
This jersey is typical of a Scandinavian jersey with it's many sponsorship logos, 14 in all not counting the Tackla branding, with the addition of the unique to Scandinavia collar on the jersey, which conveniently affords more surface are for yet more ads!
Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 2005 Czech Republic National Team Petr Tenkrát jersey as worn in the annual Karjala Cup Tournament held in Finland. The tournament is part of a larger competition known as the Euro Hockey Tour, a series of small tournaments held in each of the participating nations, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden, and is an opportunity to prepare for the World Championship and Olympics, while often giving younger players a chance at gaining experience at the international level. The game results of the four tournaments are complied into a standings in order to declare a winner of the tour.
While the various national teams compete in the Olympics with jerseys which are sponsor-free, and the World Championships, with their distinctive single ads on the top of the arms, the national team jerseys in the Euro Hockey Tour are covered with many sponsorship logos seldom seen by North Americans.
Today's video segment is Tenkrát scoring on a beautiful one-timer for Kärpät followed by an impressive goal celebration.
This next video is Tenkrát scoring against Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres while a member of the Bruins.