Mariusz Czerkawski

Mariusz Krzysztof Czerkawski (pronounced [ˈmarjuʂ t͡ʂɛrˈkafskʲi]; born 13 April 1972) is a Polish former professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. In addition to playing in the NHL, Czerkawski played for several different European-based teams. A consistent scorer, Czerkawski was the first player born and trained in Poland to play in the NHL. Internationally, Czerkawski represented Poland at several international tournaments, including the 1992 Winter Olympics and the 1992 and 2002 World Championships.

Mariusz Czerkawski
Mariusz Czerkawski.jpg
Born (1972-04-13) 13 April 1972 (age 47)
Radomsko, Poland
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)
Position Right wing
Shot Left
Played for GKS Tychy
Djurgårdens IF
Boston Bruins
Kiekko-Espoo
Edmonton Oilers
New York Islanders
Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rapperswil-Jona Lakers
National team  Poland
NHL Draft 106th overall, 1991
Boston Bruins
Playing career 1990–2008

Playing careerEdit

After a strong season with the GKS Tychy in 1990–91, the Boston Bruins drafted him in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft in the fifth round, 105th overall, while Czerkawski joined Djurgårdens IF of the Elitserien for the 1991–92 season. He was the first foreign player to play for Djurgårdens since Canadian Steve Cardwell in 1976–77. Czerkawski did not play often during his first season, and finished with 13 points in 39 games.[1] Loaned to Hammarby of the second-tier Division 1 for 1992–93, Czerkawski greatly improved, and was brought back to Djurgårdens for 1993–94, recording 34 points in 39 games.[1]

After the season ended Czerkawski went to North America, making his National Hockey League (NHL) debut at the end of the 1993–94 NHL season with the Bruins, playing in four games, scoring two goals and an assist, and becoming the first Polish-trained player in the NHL (other players had been born in Poland but raised elsewhere).[2] The next season, he played 47 games with the Bruins, collecting 12 goals and 14 assists in a lockout-shortened season.

In 1996, Czerkawski was traded to the Edmonton Oilers. He played season and a half there before another trade sent him to the New York Islanders, where he would have his most productive years, including two 30-goal plus seasons and being named to the 2000 NHL All-Star Game. However, after being traded to the Montreal Canadiens in 2002, he found himself sent to their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs. His contract was then bought-out by Montreal, after which he signed a one-year contract with the Islanders in 2003, recording another 25-goal season.[3]

The 2004–05 NHL lockout saw the NHL not play in 2004–05, so Czerkawski joined Djurgårdens for the season, where he had 24 points in 46 games. Returning to the NHL, he signed as a free agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs.[4] He played 19 games for the Maple Leafs, scoring 5 points, before being put on waivers and being claimed by the Boston Bruins on 7 March 2006.[5] He played 16 games with the Bruins, scoring four goals and one assist.

Czerkawski joined the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers of the Swiss National League A (NLA) in 2006. He played two seasons for the club, collecting respectively 41 and 53 points. He retired in 2008, though returned to play one final match for Tychy in January 2009.[1]

International playEdit

Czerkawski's first international tournament with the Polish national under-18 team was at the 1989 European U18 Division BChampionship, where he recorded 11 points in 5 games and helped Poland earn promotion to the top level for 1990. Joining the team at the 1990 tournament, he had 12 points in 6 games. He also played for Poland at the 1990 World Junior Championship, scoring one goal in seven games.[6] Poland was relegated to Pool B (the second tier) for 1991, where Czerkawski had 12 goals and 3 assists, for 15 points, in 7 games. He also made his debut for the Polish senior team that year, playing in Pool B at the 1991 World Championships and scoring 8 points in 7 games and helping Poland earn promotion to the top tier for the following year.

At the 1992 Winter Olympics Czerkawski played five games, and had one assist. He played a further 6 games at the 1992 World Championships, but did not score any points. It would not be until 1998 that Czerkawski again played internationally, joining Poland at the renamed Group B of the World Championships, where he had 3 points in 3 games. He would return again in 2000 and had 11 points in 7 games. Poland had earned promotion to the 2002 World Championship and Czerkawski scored 4 points in 3 games, though Poland was relegated back to the second tier (then known as Division I).[6] His final tournament would be at the 2006 World Championship Division I, where he had 7 points in 5 games.

Personal lifeEdit

Czerkawski was married from 1996 to 1998 to Polish-Swedish actress Izabella Scorupco, and they have a daughter.[3] Since 1 September 2007, he has been married to Emilia Raszyńska, with whom he has a son. After retiring from ice hockey, he took up golf.[7]

For his contribution to the development of Polish ice hockey, Czerkawski received the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (5th Class) in 2004.[8]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1988–89 GKS Tychy POL Jr
1989–90 GKS Tychy POL Jr 30 35 11 46
1990–91 GKS Tychy POL 24 25 15 40
1991–92 Djurgårdens IF SEL 39 8 5 13 4 3 0 0 0 2
1992–93 Hammarby IF SWE II 32 39 30 69 74 13 16 7 23 34
1993–94 Djurgårdens IF SEL 39 13 21 34 20 6 3 1 4 2
1993–94 Boston Bruins NHL 4 2 1 3 0 13 3 3 6 4
1994–95 Kiekko-Espoo SM-l 7 9 3 12 10
1994–95 Boston Bruins NHL 47 12 14 26 31 5 1 0 1 0
1995–96 Boston Bruins NHL 33 5 6 11 10
1995–96 Edmonton Oilers NHL 37 12 17 29 8
1996–97 Edmonton Oilers NHL 76 26 21 47 16 12 2 1 3 10
1997–98 New York Islanders NHL 68 12 13 25 23
1998–99 New York Islanders NHL 78 21 17 38 14
1999–2000 New York Islanders NHL 79 35 35 70 34
2000–01 New York Islanders NHL 82 30 32 62 48
2001–02 New York Islanders NHL 82 22 29 51 48 7 2 2 4 4
2002–03 Montréal Canadiens NHL 43 5 9 14 16
2002–03 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 20 8 12 20 12 6 1 3 4 6
2003–04 New York Islanders NHL 81 25 24 49 16 5 0 1 1 0
2004–05 Djurgårdens IF SEL 46 15 9 24 20 5 1 0 1 2
2005–06 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 19 4 1 5 6
2005–06 Boston Bruins NHL 16 4 1 5 4
2006–07 Rapperswil-Jona Lakers NLA 43 21 20 41 70 7 6 6 12 16
2007–08 Rapperswil-Jona Lakers NLA 49 22 31 53 30 5 1 0 1 4
2008–09 GKS Tychy POL 1 0 0 0 0
SEL totals 124 36 35 71 44 14 4 1 5 6
NHL totals 745 215 220 435 274 42 8 7 15 18
NLA totals 92 43 51 94 100 12 7 6 13 20

InternationalEdit

Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
1989 Poland EJC B 5 5 6 11 6
1990 Poland EJC 6 9 3 12 14
1990 Poland WJC 7 1 0 1 4
1991 Poland WJC B 7 12 3 15 2
1991 Poland WC B 7 6 2 8 4
1992 Poland OG 5 0 1 1 4
1992 Poland WC 6 0 0 0 4
1998 Poland WC B 3 2 1 3 0
2000 Poland WC B 7 4 7 11 2
2002 Poland WC 3 2 2 4 4
2005 Poland OGQ 6 6 4 10 4
2006 Poland WC D1 5 3 4 7 2
Junior totals 13 10 3 13 18
Senior totals 42 23 21 44 24

All Star GamesEdit

Year Location G A Pts
2000 Toronto 0 1 1
All-Star Totals 0 1 1

  • All statistics taken from NHL.com[9]

AwardsEdit

InternationalEdit

Award Year
IIHF U-20 Division I Best Player 1990

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Manninen, Henrik (30 August 2019). "Split loyalties". IIHF.com. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  2. ^ Clinton, Jared (31 July 2017). "History Makers: 11 players who became the first NHLers from their respective countries". The Hockey News. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b Woo, Andrea (17 November 2003). "The Polish Prince". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  4. ^ Canadian Press (10 September 2005). "Czerkawski here for a year". NHL.com. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Bruins claim right wing Mariusz Czerkawski". NHL.com. 7 March 2006. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  6. ^ a b Podnieks, Andrew, ed. (2010). IIHF Media Guide & Record Book 2011. Toronto: Moydart Press. p. 393.
  7. ^ Silverman, David (11 October 2018). "Alumni Corner: Mariusz Czerkawski". NHL.com. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Postanowienie Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej". 56 (933). Monitor Polski (Official Gazette of the Republic of Poland). 21 June 2004: 3019. Retrieved 13 September 2018. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ NHL.com (2009). "Mariusz Czerkawski's NHL Profile". NHL.com. Retrieved 8 July 2009.

External linksEdit