Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Vinny Prospal
Vaclav Prospal played his junior hockey with Motor Ceske Budejovice in his native Czech Republic. It was there that the long arm of the Philadelphia Flyers' scouting staff caught a hold of his NHL rights in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft.

A two-time member of the Czech Republic World Junior team in 1994 and 1995, Prospal turned pro immediately upon his selection by the Flyers, joining the Hershey Bears of the AHL for three seasons of development. In his fourth year, Prospal played the bulk of the campaign with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL before making his first leap into NHL action with the Flyers just ahead of the playoffs. From that point forward, he has remained an NHL regular.

His big-league status was secured on the strength of his ability to see the ice well and to get the puck to an open man effectively. He also plays with great intensity and rarely backs down from a challenge. In fact, he sometimes promotes the odd challenge himself as a result of his tenacious tendency to attempt to get under the skin of his opponents. He is also noteworthy for his playmaking skills and usefulness on the power play.

In 1998, Prospal was traded to the Ottawa Senators where he experienced some highs and lows. His best campaign came in 1999-00, when he netted 55 points in 79 games. Upon the conclusion of the season, Prospal was traded to the Florida Panthers where he went on to play for one season, before movin on to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 2001-02 campaign. As a member of the Lightning, Prospal became an elite and valuable player for the team, establishing a career high in assists with 57 and points with 79 during the 2002-03 season.

Following a career year with the Lightning in 2002-03, Prospal signed as a free agent with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the summer of 2003. Upon his arrival in Anaheim, Prospal struggled offensively and subsequently was re-acquired by Tampa Bay in the summer of 2004. After spending a year leading the Czech Extraliga's Ceske B Ceske Budejovice hockey team in scoring during the NHL lockout, he returned to the NHL in 2005-06 and tallied a career high in goals (25) and points (80). After less of an offensive output in 2006-07, prospal recorded 29 goals and 57 points in 62 games during the 2007-08 season with the Lightning before he was dealt to the Flyers at the NHL trade deadline on February 26, 2008. His return to Philadelphia was short lived however, after only 18 regular season and 17 playoff games he was acquired by the Tampa Bay Lightning during the day of the NHL draft.

Aside from his two World Junior appearances, Prospal has also represented his homeland at the 2000, 2004 and 2005 World Championships, as well as the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the 2006 Winter Olympics.

In the summer of 2009, the much travelled Prospal would once again find himself a free agent. On August 17, 2009, he took his act to Broadway, joining the New York Rangers.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1991-92 Motor Ceske Budejovice Jr. Czech-Jr. 36 16 16 32 12
1992-93 Motor Ceske Budejovice Jr. Czech-Jr. 32 26 31 57 24
1992-93 Czech Republic EJC-A 6 4 7 11 2
1993-94 Hershey Bears AHL 55 14 21 35 38 2 0 0 0 2
1993-94 Czech Republic WJC-A 7 1 1 2 16
1994-95 Hershey Bears AHL 69 13 32 45 36 2 1 0 1 4
1994-95 Czech Republic WJC-A 7 3 7 10 2
1995-96 Hershey Bears AHL 68 15 36 51 59 5 2 4 6 2
1996-97 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 18 5 10 15 4 +3 5 1 3 4 4
1996-97 Philadelphia Phantoms AHL 63 32 63 95 70
1997-98 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 41 5 13 18 17 -10
1997-98 Ottawa Senators NHL 15 1 6 7 4 -1 6 0 0 0 0
1998-99 Ottawa Senators NHL 79 10 26 36 58 +8 4 0 0 0 0
1999-00 Ottawa Senators NHL 79 22 33 55 40 -2 6 0 4 4 4
1999-00 Czech Republic WC-A 9 3 4 7 8 +5
2000-01 Ottawa Senators NHL 40 1 12 13 12 +1
2000-01 Florida Panthers NHL 34 4 12 16 10 -2
2001-02 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 81 18 37 55 38 -11
2002-03 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 80 22 57 79 53 +9 11 4 2 6 8
2003-04 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 82 19 35 54 54 -9
2003-04 Czech Republic WC-A 7 3 4 7 2 +5
2004-05 Czech Republic W-Cup 4 1 3 4 0 +1
2004-05 HC Ceske Budejovice CzRep-2 39 28 60 88 82 16 15 15 30 32
2004-05 Czech Republic WC-A 9 2 6 8 4 +4
2005-06 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 81 25 55 80 50 -3 5 0 2 2 0
2005-06 Czech Republic Olympics 8 4 2 6 2 -1
2006-07 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 82 14 41 55 36 -24 6 1 4 5 4
2007-08 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 62 29 28 57 39 -7
2007-08 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 18 4 10 14 6 +7 17 3 10 13 6
2008-09 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 82 19 26 45 52 -20
2009-10 New York Rangers NHL 75 20 38 58 32 +8
2010-11 New York Rangers NHL 29 9 14 23 8 +4 5 1 0 1 0
2011-12 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 82 16 39 55 36 -11
2012-13 HC Mountfield Ceske Budejovice CzRep 19 9 14 23 46 +3
2012-13 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 48 12 18 30 32 +3
NHL Totals 1108 255 510 765 581 65 10 25 35 26


AHL First All-Star Team (1997) Traded to Ottawa by Philadelphia with Pat Falloon and Dallas' 2nd round pick (previously acquired, Ottawa selected Chris Bala) in 1998 NHL Draft for Alexandre Daigle, January 17, 1998. Traded to Florida by Ottawa for future considerations, January 20, 2001. Traded to Tampa Bay by Florida for Ryan Johnson and Tampa Bay's 6th round pick (later traded back to Tampa Bay - Tampa Bay selected Doug O'Brien) in 2003 NHL Draft, July 10, 2001. Signed as a free agent by Anaheim, July 17, 2003. Traded to Tampa Bay by Anaheim for Tampa Bay's 2nd round pick (Brendan Mikkelson) in 2005 NHL Draft, August 16, 2004. Signed as a free agent by Ceske Budejovice (CzRep-2), September 17, 2004. Traded to Philadelphia by Tampa Bay for Alexandre Picard and Philadelphia's 2nd round pick (Richard Panik) in 2009 NHL Draft, February 25, 2008. Traded to Tampa Bay by Philadelphia for Nashville's 7th round pick (previously acquired, Philadelphia selected Joacim Eriksson) in 2008 NHL Draft and future considerations, June 18, 2008. Signed as a free agent by NY Rangers, August 17, 2009. Missed majority of 2010-11 due to knee surgery, October 6, 2010. Signed as a free agent by Columbus, July 23. 2011. Signed as a free agent by Ceske Budejovice (CzRep), October 28, 2012. Officially announced his retirement, January 24, 2014.
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