COLUMBUS, OHIO – Columbus Blue Jackets forward Vinny Prospal became the 268th player in National Hockey League history to play in 1,000 regular season games tonight against the Buffalo Sabres at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets will hold a ceremony to recognize Prospal prior to the Saturday, December 17 game against the Tampa Bay Lightning with whom he played 468 games during his career.
The Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic native was Philadelphia’s second pick, 71st overall, in the 1993 Entry Draft. He played three-plus seasons with the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears and Philadelphia Phantoms before making his NHL debut on Mar. 5, 1997 when the Flyers hosted the New Jersey Devils. He collected his first career point in his next game with a goal vs. Pittsburgh’s Ken Wregget on Mar. 8, 1997.
Prospal entered tonight’s game having scored 233 goals and 466 assists for 699 points with 523 penalty minutes during a career that has included stints with the Flyers, (77 games – 1997-98, 2008), Ottawa Senators (213 games – 1998-01), Florida Panthers (34 games – 2001), Lightning (468 games – 2001-03, 2005-08, 2008-09), Anaheim Ducks (82 games – 2003-04), New York Rangers (104 games – 2009-11) and Blue Jackets (22 games). This season, he leads Columbus in goals, assists and points with 6-13-19 in 21 games.
Vinny Prospal Milestones
1st NHL Game: Mar. 5, 1997 vs. New Jersey Devils (Philadelphia)
500th NHL Game: Dec. 21, 2003 vs. San Jose Sharks (Anaheim)
1,000th NHL Game: Nov. 25, 2011 vs. Buffalo Sabres (Columbus)
1st NHL Goal/Point: Mar. 8, 1997 at Pittsburgh, Ken Wregget (Philadelphia)
200th NHL Goal: Oct. 14, 2009 vs. Los Angeles (NY Rangers)
500th NHL Point: Nov. 8, 2007 at Carolina (Tampa Bay)
600th NHL Point: Oct. 3, 2009 vs. Ottawa (NY Rangers)
Prospal is the second player to reach the 1,000-game milestone while playing for the Blue Jackets. On November 30, 2005, Sergei Fedorov played in his 1,000th NHL game at the Xcel Energy Center when the Blue Jackets visited the Minnesota Wild.
The Blue Jackets return to action Sunday when the club hosts the St. Louis Blues. Game time from Nationwide Arena is 6 p.m. ET. Live coverage on FOX Sports Ohio HD begins with the Blue Jackets Live pre-game show starting at 5:30 p.m. The game will also be broadcast live on the Wheeling Island Hotel & Casino Blue Jackets Radio Network, including Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan in Columbus, and online at BlueJackets.com.
Single game tickets for the Blue Jackets home games starting at $26 are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, The Chiller Ice Rinks and all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers. Fans can also purchase tickets by phone at (800) 745-3000 or online at BlueJackets.com, the official club web site, and ticketmaster.com. Full and partial season ticket plans for the Blue Jackets' 2011-12 season are on sale now starting at less than $15 per game. For more information, call (800) NHL-COLS or visit BlueJackets.com.