Then and Now: Petr Nedved

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Dennis Seidenberg has had a respectable career. He has represented his native Germany three times at the Olympics and won the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011.

In addition to that, Seidenberg helped the Carolina Hurricanes make a deep and unexpected run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009. The blue liner was snagged by Philly in the 2001 draft and was dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes during the first season back after the last lockout. In exchange for the 24-year-old defenseman the Flyers acquired a 34-year-old center in Petr Nedved.

Philly completed the trade with Phoenix in January of 2006, as the Flyers were also given the option of swapping fourth-round draft picks with the Coyotes at the 2006 NHL Draft and third-round draft picks at the 2007 draft. After he potted two goals and recorded five assists in 25 contests for the Coyotes, Nedved produced five goals and nine helpers in 28 tilts for Philly despite missing a total of seven games due to a nagging groin injury.

The Flyers’ run in the 2006 postseason was short, as the Orange and Black were eliminated in six games by the Buffalo Sabres in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Nedved played in all six games and registered two goals, third-most in the series behind Peter Forsberg’s four and Simon Gagne’s three.

The 2006-2007 season wasn’t kind to the oft-traveled Nedved. With one goal and six assists in 21 games, Nedved was placed on waivers twice by the Flyers. The Edmonton Oilers picked the center up his second time through waivers, as he also had four goals and seven assists in 14 games for the Philadelphia Phantoms.

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After his first stint with Edmonton in 2003-04, which lasted all of 16 games, Nedved’s final 19 games in the NHL were spent in an Oilers’ jersey. His final goal in the NHL came in the infamous 6-5 Dallas Stars’ shootout win over the Oilers on January 4, 2007. Nedved deposited a second period power-play goal in the contest where Patrik Stefan fumbled the puck in the crease on an empty-net attempt in the game’s final seconds before falling over and turning it over to Edmonton, who saw Ales Hemsky score with 2.1 seconds left to tie the game.

Nedved also had four assists in his final 19 games with the Oilers before he joined HC Sparta Praha of the 02 Extraliga, which is now known as the Tipsport Extraliga, for the 2007-08 season.

While being teammates with his brother Jaroslav, Nedved finished second on the team with 20 goals behind Petr Ton, who had 27. He also finished third on the team in points behind both Ton and Tomas Netik.

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After the club won back-to-back league titles, HC Sparta Praha was swept in the 2008 Quarterfinals by Bili Tygri Liberec. Nedved had an assist, 20 PIMs, and a minus-3 rating in the four-game series.

Nedved left HC Sparta Praha and joined Bili Tygri Liberec for the 2008-09 campaign. He is still captain of Bili Tygri Liberec after he was handed the honor in his first season with the club.

Along with co-captain Jaroslav Modry, Nedved played alongside Pavel Kasparik, Vaclav Pletka, and Radim Vrbata. He finished fifth on the team with 28 points, as he had 14 goals and 14 assists in 33 contests during the regular season to help Bili Tygri Liberec finish ninth with 21 wins in 52 games.

For a second straight postseason, Nedved’s team was swept in their first series of the playoffs. This time, Bili Tygri Liberec suffered a 3-0 defeat in the best-of-five Preliminary Round against HC Vitkovice Steel. The center had an assist, six PIMs, and a minus-2 rating in the brief series.

The 2009-10 season was Nedved’s first as the lone captain of Bili Tygri Liberec, as former Flyer Jan Hlavac participated in nearly 20 games for the squad. Nedved led the team with 20 assists during the regular season and finished tied with Milan Bartovic for the team lead in points with 35. Bili Tygri Liberec finished with the same number of wins as the previous season, but they managed to grab the eighth spot in the 02 Extraliga standings.

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In the 2010 Extraliga playoffs, Nedved led his team to the Semifinals before they were swept by the eventual champions in HC Pardubice, a club that boasted Petr Sykora, Radovan Somik, Tomas Divisek, and Dominik Hasek. The captain had eight goals and nine assists to lead his team in points for a playoff run where they eliminated Jakub Kovar and HC Ceske Budejovice (HC Mountfield) 3-2 in the Preliminary Round as well as Martin Straka and HC Plzen 4-2 in the Quarterfinals.

The 2010-11 campaign treated Nedved well, as he enjoyed his third straight year as the captain of Bili Tygri Liberec. Not only did he lead his team with points, Nedved finished second in the league with 41 assists, behind Straka’s 44, and third in the league with 55 points, behind Tomas Vlasak’s 68 and Straka’s 61. His impressive season helped Bili Tygri Liberec finish second in the Tipsport Extraliga with 94 points, two behind HC Ocelari Trinec.

Despite their strong regular season, Nedved’s club lost in the Quarterfinals to HC Slavia Praha 4-3. The former Flyer did his part to help his team advance with seven goals and three assists in the seven-game series, but the rest of the club didn’t support his play.

This past season was Nedved’s fourth as the captain of Bili Tygri Liberec. For the first time since he posted 78 points with the New York Rangers during the 2000-01 season, Nedved broke the 60-point plateau with 24 goals and 37 assists in 49 games. His totals were good enough to let him finish fourth in the league in goals, first in the league in assists, and first in the league in points.

After they finished fourth in the league during the regular season, Bili Tygri Liberec reached the Semifinals before losing in six games to the eventual champions in HC Pardubice. Nedved’s team didn’t have to participate in the Preliminary Round and beat HC Ceske Budejovice in a six-game Quarterfinals’ meeting before losing to HC Pardubice, who featured Somik and Jon Sim. Nedved once again led his team in scoring throughout the playoffs, as he put home six goals and seven assists to serve as the only member of his team to break the 10-point plateau in the postseason.

Nedved also represented his home country of the Czech Republic in the 2012 IIHF World Championship and the Euro Hockey Tour. The center helped the Czech Republic finish third in the 16-team World Championship with three goals and two assists in nine contests as an alternate captain. As a member of the winning Czech Republic team of the 2011-12 EHT, Nedved deposited six goals and one assist in nine tilts.

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Although Nedved is still a member of Bili Tygri Liberec, he is no longer the lone captain of the squad, as forward Jaroslav Kudrna and Nedved are the team’s co-captains this season.

Due to the lockout, several NHL players are currently playing for Bili Tygri Liberec. Nedved is enjoying the help of Wayne Simmonds, Chris Stewart, Ladislav Smid, and Ondrej Pavelec. Although the team isn’t doing too well, Nedved leads the team in points with seven goals and 11 assists in 15 contests.