Zenon Konopka

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Zenon Konopka
Zenon Konopka 2011-11-25.JPG
Konopka with the Ottawa Senators in 2011.
Born (1981-01-02) January 2, 1981 (age 36)
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 213 lb (97 kg; 15 st 3 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Left
PHL team
Former teams
KH Sanok
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Columbus Blue Jackets
Tampa Bay Lightning
New York Islanders
Ottawa Senators
Minnesota Wild
Buffalo Sabres
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 2002–present
Website ZenonKonopka.com

Zenon Konopka (born January 2, 1981) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player. Konopka played for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Columbus Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Minnesota Wild, and Buffalo Sabres during his NHL career.

With the Lightning in 2010.

Playing career[edit]

Konopka played junior hockey with the Ottawa 67's of the OHL from 1998 to 2002, and was a member of the 1999 Memorial Cup champions. He was not drafted by a NHL team and caught on with the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL. After three minor league seasons with various teams in the ECHL and AHL, he made his NHL debut in 2005–2006, playing 23 games for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. After the Ducks were eliminated, he returned to Portland in the AHL, where he led all playoff scorers in power play goals and assists. In 2006–07, he returned to the minors, playing for Portland in the AHL. On January 26, 2007, he was traded by the Anaheim Ducks along with Curtis Glencross and a draft pick to the Blue Jackets in exchange for forwards Mark Hartigan, Joe Motzko and a draft pick. He played for Columbus's farm team in the AHL, the Syracuse Crunch, with occasional call-ups to the Blue Jackets.

On July 10, 2008, Konopka signed a two year-contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning as a free agent. In 2009, after a strong training camp, Konopka made the Lightning's roster out of training camp. On July 2, 2010, he signed with the New York Islanders as an unrestricted free agent.

Konopka was the most penalized player in 2009–10 and 2010–11 NHL seasons.

On July 5, 2011, Konopka signed a one-year contract with the Ottawa Senators. During the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Konopka directed verbal abuse towards a New York Rangers player during a live television interview. Konopka was fined $2,500 by the NHL.[1]

On July 1, 2012, Konopka signed a two-year, $1.85-million contract with the Minnesota Wild. He reportedly had three offers on the table before accepting the deal with Minnesota.[2]

On January 3, 2014, Konopka was claimed off waivers by the Buffalo Sabres, with whom he remained until the end of the season.

On May 15, 2014 Konopka was suspended for 20 games following violation of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program after taking dehydroepiandrosterone on a doctor's suggestion.[3] His contract with the Sabres expired July 1, during the suspension.

On January 30, 2015, Konopka signed with Ciarko PBS Bank KH Sanok of the PHL in Poland. As of June 2015, he was on tour with other professional journeymen hockey players in Australia. He plans on returning to North America after the tour ends in the hopes of returning to the NHL or, if unable to do that, an American minor league.[4]

On April 1, 2017, Konopka officially retired from hockey when he signed a one-day contract with the Syracuse Crunch to close out his career. Konopka had previously served a captain of Syracuse, and is considered one of the more popular players in team history. Before the game there was a pregame ceremony featuring a video from his former teammates and the presentation of a lifetime key to the Crowne Plaza Syracuse.[5]

Personal[edit]

Zenon Konopka is also an entrepreneur and owner of a company Prime Wine Products[6] and partners with local charities to help children's programs.[7] Konopka also owns and operates Konopka Co-Packing, a packaging company that employs over 20 workers.[4] He was once part-owner in an Ottawa bar-restaurant called "Stout Bros."[8] and has run the "Zenon Konopka Hockey Academy" in Ottawa since 2007.[9]

He also has a black pet rabbit, Hoppy, and maintains an Instagram and a Twitter account [10] for his pet, who has relocated with him since 2006. Konopka told Fox Sports North that he never wanted a rabbit as a child, but a friend suggested one as Konopka is allergic to cats and dogs. "I can't help that I fell in love with the little guy ... the guy's pretty cool. He just chills around, has his litter box, does his business there and he's pretty soothing to come home to."[11] Zenon also has a specially made hockey jersey made for Hoppy for each team he plays for.[12]

Konopka is of Polish descent. His father was born in Poland.[13] His mother is a native of Buffalo, New York.[14] Konopka's sister, Cynthia, sang the national anthems at Scotiabank Place before the Senators' game on January 16, 2012.[15]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1998–99 Ottawa 67's OHL 56 7 8 15 62 7 0 0 0 2
1999–00 Ottawa 67's OHL 59 8 11 19 107 11 1 2 3 8
2000–01 Ottawa 67's OHL 66 20 45 65 120 20 7 13 20 47
2001–02 Ottawa 67's OHL 61 18 68 86 100 13 8 6 14 49
2002–03 Wheeling Nailers ECHL 68 22 48 70 231
2002–03 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 4 0 1 1 9
2003–04 Idaho Steelheads ECHL 23 6 22 28 82 17 9 8 17 30
2003–04 Utah Grizzlies AHL 43 7 4 11 198
2004–05 Cincinnati Mighty Ducks AHL 75 17 29 46 212 12 3 3 6 26
2005–06 Portland Pirates AHL 34 18 26 44 57 19 11 18 29 46
2005–06 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 23 4 3 7 48
2006–07 Lada Tolyatti RSL 4 0 0 0 8
2006–07 Portland Pirates AHL 42 11 24 35 97
2006–07 Syracuse Crunch AHL 20 9 11 20 70
2006–07 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 6 0 0 0 20
2007–08 Syracuse Crunch AHL 62 24 31 55 194 13 3 7 10 42
2007–08 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 3 0 0 0 15
2008–09 Norfolk Admirals AHL 70 17 40 57 186
2008–09 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 7 0 1 1 29
2009–10 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 74 2 3 5 265
2010–11 New York Islanders NHL 82 2 7 9 307
2011–12 Ottawa Senators NHL 55 3 2 5 193 6 0 2 2 2
2012–13 Minnesota Wild NHL 37 0 0 0 117 2 0 0 0 0
2013–14 Minnesota Wild NHL 36 1 1 2 55
2013–14 Buffalo Sabres NHL 23 0 1 1 33
NHL totals 346 12 18 30 1082 8 0 2 2 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strang, Katie. "Sens fined $10K for 'verbal abuse'". espn.go.com. April 16, 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  2. ^ Konopka's Wild ride http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Minnesota/2012/07/06/19960671.html
  3. ^ "Buffalo Sabres' Zenon Konopka suspended 20 games". NHL.com. 
  4. ^ a b Potrecz, Bill (June 3, 2015). A man for all seasons. St. Catharines Standard. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  5. ^ Kramer, Lindsay (April 1, 2017). "Syracuse Crunch signs ex-captain Zenon Konopka (but only for a day)". Syracuse.com. Retrieved June 28, 2017. 
  6. ^ Potrecz, Bill (September 17, 2012). "Konopka goes from enforcer to negotiator". Welland Tribune. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  7. ^ http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/islanders/isles-files-1.812028/zenon-konopka-partners-with-ny-islanders-children-s-foundation-1.2571364
  8. ^ Canoe inc. "Are the Senators NHL's toughest team?". canoe.com. 
  9. ^ "Konopka, Senators find 'the right fit' together". nhl.com. 
  10. ^ "Hoppy Konopka". twitter.com. 
  11. ^ http://www.foxsportsnorth.com/nhl/minnesota-wild/story/Konopka-has-embraced-the-bunny-lifestyle?blockID=873977 Konopka Has Embraced the Bunny Lifestyle
  12. ^ Dave Emke. "Addition of Zenon Konopka Should Be End of John Scott's Time with Buffalo Sabres". Bleacher Report. 
  13. ^ Botta, Christopher (October 5, 2010). "Honoring His Father's War-Torn Life, Zenon Konopka Fights For Every Shift". AOL News. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. 
  14. ^ Hoppe, Bill (January 3, 2014). Ted Nolan wants Sabres’ youngsters to learn from veteran newcomer Zenon Konopka. Olean Times Herald. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  15. ^ http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Ottawa/2012/01/07/19214726.html Cheaps: Doing what a guy's gotta do

External links[edit]