Imagine spending 18 years as a player, including season after season frozen in the minors.
Most of those years were on the rosters of horrible teams, resulting in a career losing record. Then a few years later as a head coach, he posted an even worse W-L result.
Yeah, he's a tough S.O.B, alright. His record might indicate lots of losses, but to last so long and fight so hard with so many different teams, there's something to the reality that Peter Sidorkiewicz was and is, in fact, a winner.
Hey, you got to hand it to Sidorkiewicz. He's a fighter, and arguably the most persistent NHL goalie in the modern era.
On this date, 28 years ago, the newly-formed Ottawa Senators made Sidorkiewicz the franchise's very first draft choice. The Polish-born goalie was picked in the 1992 NHL Expansion Draft. After spending the 1980's with the Washington Capitals, Hartford Whalers, and an AHL team in Binghamton, NY, Sidorkiewicz was coming off a miserable injury-plagued 1991-92 season. His selection was something of a surprise, even to Sidorkiewicz, who wasn't sure he had much of a future as a starter in hockey.
His career with Ottawa couldn't have started off with more promise. He started the first game in Senators history, earning the win as Ottawa defeated their natural instant rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, 5-3. However, that season quickly deteriorated into a disaster for the expansion club and its journeyman goalie. In his 57 starts, Sidorkiewicz went 8–46–3.
Wow, that sucks!
The rest of the 1990's were just as frustrating. Sidorkiewicz was traded to the New Jersey Devils, before being sent down to minor league teams where he compiled a mediocre record. Sidorkiewicz finally retired after the 1998 season.
After spending 18 years as a player, not to be outdone, Sidorkiewicz took his stick and his determination to the bench. He was hired to coach the Erie Oilers, where he compiled a woeful 15-50 record in his only complete season as a head coach. The next season, Sidorkiewicz led the Oilers to a 3-12 record before resigning in 2007-08.
Today, Sidorkiewicz is now coaching hockey somewhere in Austria.
And so it was, this date in Canadian sports history, 28 years ago.
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