Robert Reichel in Prague, October 2010
June 25, 1971 |
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Weight||182 lb (83 kg; 13 st 0 lb)|
|Played for||HC Litvínov
New York Islanders
Toronto Maple Leafs
|National team|| Czechoslovakia
|NHL Draft||70th overall, 1989
Robert Reichel (born June 25, 1971) is a Czech former professional ice hockey centre and coach. He began his career with HC Litvínov of the Czechoslovak First Ice Hockey League; his 49 goals in 1989–90 was the second highest total in Czechoslovakian history. Reichel played 11 National Hockey League (NHL) seasons for the Calgary Flames, New York Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes and Toronto Maple Leafs. In 830 career NHL games, he scored 252 goals and 378 assists for 630 points. He also played with the Frankfurt Lions of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). He ended his player career in 2010 in HC Litvínov, where he served as captain of the team.
Internationally, Reichel represented Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic on numerous occasions. He was an all-star at the European Junior, World Junior and World Championship levels and appeared in Canada Cup and World Cup of Hockey tournaments. He was a member of three gold and four bronze medal teams at the World Championships. A two-time Olympian, Reichel scored the lone shootout goal to eliminate Canada en route to a gold medal victory for the Czech Republic at the 1998 Winter Olympics.
Litvínov, Calgary and New York
Reichel began his elite playing career at the age of 16 when he joined CHZ Litvínov of the Czechoslovak First Ice Hockey League. In his first two seasons, he reorded 27 points in 1987–88 and 48 points in 1988–89. Anticipating future availability of eastern European players to their teams, National Hockey League (NHL) general managers selected several Soviet Bloc players at the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. Reichel was selected in the fourth round, 70th overall, by the Calgary Flames. Reichel remained with Litvínov for the 1989–90 season where he had one of the greatest seasons in Czechoslovakian history; in 52 games combined between the regular season and playoffs, Reichel scored 49 goals, the second highest total in the history of the Czechoslovakian First League. He was named an all-star and forward of the year and finished as runner-up to Dominik Hašek as player of the year.
Upon his departure to Calgary for the 1990–91 NHL season, Reichel was considered Czechoslovakia's top prospect. He made his NHL debut on October 8, 1990, against the Winnipeg Jets and scored his first point and goal on October 20, against Boston Bruins' goaltender Réjean Lemelin. Reichel completed his first NHL season with 41 points, then improved to 54 points in 1991–92. A pair of 40-goal seasons followed as Reichel finished second in team scoring (88 points to Theoren Fleury's 100) in 1992–93 and led the team with 93 points in 1993–94.
A labour dispute resulted in the cancellation of the first half of the 1994–95 NHL season, and Reichel spent the time with the Frankfurt Lions of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). He recorded 43 points in 21 games for Frankfurt before returning to the NHL, where he added 35 points in 48 games for Calgary. Reichel then became embroiled in a contract dispute with the Flames. He made C$$ 725,000 in 1994–95, and was offered US$1 million to remain with Frankfurt. Unable to come to terms with Calgary, Reichel returned to Frankfurt for the 1995–96 season. In 46 games with the Lions, Reichel led the DEL in goals (47), assists (54) and points (101).
Reichel and the Flames resolved their impasse prior to the 1996–97 NHL season and agreed to a three-year, US$4.4 million contract. He struggled offensively in his return to Calgary, Reichel had only 16 goals and 43 points through 70 games with Calgary, and consequently became the subject of trade rumours. The Flames sent him to the New York Islanders on March 18, 1997, in exchange for Marty McInnis, Tyrone Garner and a sixth round selection in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. In 12 games with the Islanders to finish the season, Reichel recorded 19 points and finished the year with 53 combined between the two teams.
Phoenix, Toronto and Litvínov
Reichel played only one full season with the Islanders; he recorded 25 goals and 40 assists in 1997–98, and was traded midway through the 1998–99. New York sent Reichel to the Phoenix Coyotes on March 20, 1999, in exchange for Brad Isbister. The teams also swapped draft picks. A restricted free agent following the season, Reichel sought a contract worth $3 million per season. When he was unable to attract interest at that price, Reichel opted to return to Litvínov, now in the Czech Extraliga.
He played two seasons with Litvínov and averaged greater than a point per game. Reichel once again returned to North America as the Coyotes traded his NHL playing rights to the Toronto Maple Leafs, along with Travis Green and Craig Mills, in exchange for Danny Markov on June 12, 2001. In his first season with the Maple Leafs, 2001–02, he scored 20 goals – the seventh time in his NHL career he had done so – and 51 points. His production declined over the following two seasons, recording 42 points in 2002–03 and 30 in 2003–04. Reichel then left the NHL for the third, and final, time. He spent the final six seasons of his playing career with Litvínov and posted a peak offensive total of 47 points in 52 games in 2006–07. Reichel retired in 2010.
Reichel was a mainstay on the Czechoslovakian and later the Czech Republic national teams from 1987 until 2004. He played with the junior team in five tournaments between 1988 and 1990. He was a member of gold and silver medal squads at the 1988 and 1989 European Junior Championships, respectively. In 1989, he set a tournament record with 21 points in six games. Reichel also appeared in three World Junior Championships between 1988 and 1990 and won a pair of bronze medals. He led the 1990 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in scoring with 21 points. In doing so, he became the only player in history to lead both the European and World Junior Championships in scoring. He was named a tournament all-star and received the Directorate Award as best forward. With 40 points over his three tournaments, Reichel became the all-time leading scorer (since surpassed) at the World Junior Championships.
Having earned a spot with the senior team at the 1990 World Championships, Reichel was placed on a line with two other young players, Bobby Holík and Jaromír Jágr. The line starred at the event; Reichel recorded 11 points in the tournament as Czechoslovakia won the bronze medal. Reichel was named to the tournament all-star team. Two more all-star appearances followed, in 1996 and 2001, The Czech Republic won gold medals both years; Reichel was also a member of the World Championship winning team in 2000 and won three additional bronze medals. Reichel appeared in nine World Championships, the 1991 Canada Cup and two World Cup of Hockey tournaments. His final appearance came at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey where he captained the Czech Republic to a semi-final appearance.
Reichel's most famous international moment came in the first of his two Olympic appearances in one of the most significant moments in Czech hockey history. Canada and the Czech republic battled to a 1–1 tie in the semi-final at the 1998 Nagano Games, a contest that ultimately required a shootout to decide the game. Reichel scored the lone goal and Dominik Hašek stopped all Canadian shots to lead the Czech Republic into the gold medal game. The Czechs went on to defeat Russia in the final to win the nation's first Olympic gold medal. The victory touched off celebrations throughout the Czech Republic.
Reichel was born in Litvínov, Czechoslovakia and is of German descent. His brother Martin was also a professional hockey player. Martin, who moved to Germany in 1990, represented his adopted nation at the 2002 Winter Olympics and played against Robert's Czech Republic. It was the second time in Olympic hockey history that two brothers played against each other.
Regular season and playoffs
|1996–97||New York Islanders||NHL||12||5||14||19||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|1997–98||New York Islanders||NHL||82||25||40||65||32||—||—||—||—||—|
|1998–99||New York Islanders||NHL||70||19||37||56||50||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001–02||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||78||20||31||51||26||18||0||3||3||4|
|2002–03||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||81||12||30||42||26||7||2||1||3||0|
|2003–04||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||69||11||19||30||30||12||0||2||2||8|
Awards and honours
|EJC all-star team||1988
|WJC Directorate Award for best forward||1990|||
|WJC all-star team||1990|||
|Czechoslovakian first all-star team||1989–90|||
|World Championship all-star team||1990, 1996
- Career statistics: "Robert Reichel player card". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
- "Robert Reichel profile". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
- "Robert Reichel player card". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
- Duhatschek, Eric (1989-06-20). "GMs figure Soviets will one day flood market". Calgary Herald.
- Duhatschek, Eric (1989-06-18). "Top Flame pick Cornell-bound". Calgary Herald. p. E1.
- Halls, Pat, ed. (1990). 1990–91 Calgary Flames Media Guide. Calgary Flames Hockey Club. p. 54.
- Podnieks, Andrew (2003). Players: The ultimate A–Z guide of everyone who has ever played in the NHL. Toronto: Doubleday Canada. p. 717. ISBN 0-385-25999-9.
- Halls, Pat, ed. (1996). 1996–97 Calgary Flames Media Guide. Calgary Flames Hockey Club. pp. 48–49.
- Halls, Pat, ed. (1996). 1996–97 Calgary Flames Media Guide. Calgary Flames Hockey Club. pp. 88–89.
- "Around the NHL". Washington Post. 1996-07-17. Retrieved 2013-11-10. – via Highbeam (subscription required)
- Dupont, Kevin Paul (1994-11-06). "Taking the ice across the pond". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2013-11-10.(subscription required)
- Modrowski, Roman (1997-02-16). "Hawks GM Pulford reportedly interested in Flames' Reichel". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2013-11-10. – via Highbeam (subscription required)
- "Flurry of moves at trade deadline". Chicago Sun-Times. 1997-03-19. Retrieved 2013-11-10. – via Highbeam (subscription required)
- "Oilers, Islanders play let's make a deal". The Buffalo News. 1999-03-22. Retrieved 2013-11-10. – via Hihgbeam (subscription required)
- Sliva, Jan (1999-09-07). "Reichel to play in Czech Republic". Associated Press. Retrieved 2013-11-10. – via Highbeam (subscription required)
- "Maple Leafs boost attack". North Bay Nugget. 2001-06-13. p. B1. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
- Podnieks, Andrew, ed. (2011). IIHF Guide & Record Book 2012. International Ice Hockey Federation. p. 510. ISBN 978-0-7710-9598-6.
- Podnieks, Andrew, ed. (2011). IIHF Guide & Record Book 2012. International Ice Hockey Federation. pp. 35–37. ISBN 978-0-7710-9598-6.
- "Soviets beat U.S. junior team". Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT). 1989-12-31. p. 6D. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
- Szemberg, Szymon (2011-08-17). ""Captain Czech" is back". International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
- Alexander, Rachel (1998-02-21). "Hasek stares down Canada in shootout, 2-1; Czechs, Russians will play for Gold". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-11-10. – via Highbeam (subscription required)
- "Reichel brothers to square off". The Washington Post. 2002-02-14. Retrieved 2013-11-10. – via Highbeam (subscription required)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Robert Reichel.|
- Robert Reichel's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Robert Reichel profile at Eurohockey.com