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Petr Klima
Selected in fifth round
No. 86 overall by Detroit Red Wings

Born December 23, 1964
Position: Left Wing
Height: 6-0   Weight: 190
Last Team: Litvinov (Czechoslovakia)                  
Birthplace: Chomutov, Czechoslovakia
Hometown: Chomutov, Czech Republic
Year TeamLeague GPG ATP PIM
1981-82 LitvinovCzech. 187 310 8
1982-83 LitvinovCzech. 4419 1736 74

World Junior Championships:
1983 (silver medal)
European Junior Championships: 1982 (silver medal)
Debut: October 10, 1985 (Minnesota at Detroit)
Numbers:  85 (Detroit); 85 (Edmonton); 85 (T.B.); 85 (L.A.); 85 (Pitt.)
Stanley Cup: 1990.  Playing Status: Retired for final time in 2003
Years TeamsGP GA TPPIM
1985-1999 Detroit, Edmonton,
T.B., L.A., Pittsburgh
786 313260 573671
YearsTeams GPG ATP PIM
1987-1997 Detroit, Edm., T.B.95 2824 5283

All-Star Game:
1986 (Detroit) (injured, did not play)
Detroit Records: Most goals, playoff year (10 in 1988, shares record)
Detroit Playoffs Goals Leader: 1988 (10)
Edmonton Points Leader: 1992-93 (48)
Edmonton Goals Leader: 1990-91 (40), 1992-93 (32)
Tampa Bay Goals Leader: 1993-94 (28), 1995 (13, tie)
Miscellaneous: Played on line with Steve Yzerman and Ron Duguay for Detroit in 1985-86. ... Scored goal in his first NHL game. The goal, at 14:02 of the second period, beat Minnesota goaltender Don Beaupre to give Red Wings a 4-2 lead in what ended as a 6-6 tie. ... Missed part of 1985-86 season with hip flexor injury, suffered during Detroit's Jan. 18, 1986, game vs. Calgary. While he was out with the injury, he missed the 1986 NHL All-Star Game, in which he had been chosen to play. He did not return to action until Detroit's Jan. 31, 1986, game vs. St. Louis. ... Finished seventh in 1985-86 NHL rookie scoring race with 56 points. ... Scored at least one point in first 10 games of 1986-87 season. It was the longest point-scoring streak by any Detroit player in that season. ... Tied for Detroit lead with five game-winning goals in 1986-87. ... Tied for second in NHL with nine first-goals during 1987-88 season. ... Scored goal on first playoff penalty shot in Detroit Red Wings history, beating Allan Bester in Game 3 of first-round series at Toronto on April 9, 1988. ... Missed remainder of 1988 playoffs with broken right thumb, an injury suffered when he was slashed by Charlie Huddy during Game 1 of Detroit's Campbell Conference finals series at Edmonton on May 3, 1988. ... Led Detroit in 1988 playoffs with four game-winning goals. ... Broke Gordie Howe's Detroit record for goals in one playoff year with 10 in 1988. ... Missed part of 1988-89 season with twisted right ankle, an injury suffered when he collided with Ron Hextall during Detroit's Nov. 12, 1988, game at Philadelphia. He did not return until Detroit's Nov. 23, 1988, game vs. Los Angeles. ... Missed part of 1988-89 season with pulled groin, an injury suffered during Detroit's Dec. 17, 1988, game at Pittsburgh. He did not return to action until Detroit's Dec. 31, 1988, game vs. Hartford. ... Missed part of 1988-89 season with back injury, suffered during Detroit's Jan. 28, 1989, game at Pittsburgh. He did not return to action until Detroit's Feb. 9, 1989, game vs. New Jersey. ... Had two assists in his first game with Edmonton, on Nov. 3, 1989, vs. Calgary. ... Ended longest playoff game in Edmonton Oilers history (record since broken) by scoring at 15:13 of third overtime to beat Boston 3-2 in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Finals at Boston on May 15, 1990. ... Suspended by NHL for four games during 1990-91 season for butt-ending Brad Jones in Edmonton's Oct. 11, 1990, game vs. Los Angeles. The suspension was announced on Oct. 25, 1990. Edmonton received a seven-day grace period, based on appeal, and Klima began serving suspension on Nov. 3, 1990. He did not return until Edmonton's Nov. 14, 1990, game vs. Vancouver. Klima publicly criticized NHL executive vice-president Brian O'Neill over the length of suspension, saying he did not feel O'Neill deserved his job. ... Missed part of 1990-91 season with pulled groin, an injury suffered during Edmonton's March 15, 1991, game at Winnipeg. ... Led Edmonton with plus-24 rating and three hat tricks in 1990-91. ... Began playing right wing, in addition to left wing, for Edmonton in 1991-92. He would remain both a right wing and left wing for the remainder of his career. ... Missed part of 1991-92 season with scratched right cornea, an injury suffered during Edmonton's Nov. 16, 1991, game at Quebec. ... Missed part of 1991-92 season with strained groin, an injury suffered during Edmonton's Feb. 2, 1992, game vs. Quebec. He did not return to action until Edmonton's Feb. 19, 1992, game vs. Los Angeles. ... Missed part of 1992-93 season with strained ligaments in left knee, an injury suffered in Edmonton's Oct. 11, 1992, game vs. Toronto. He did not return to action until Edmonton's Oct. 31, 1992, game vs. Washington. ... Missed part of 1992-93 season with strained groin, an injury suffered in Edmonton's Jan. 7, 1993, game at Chicago. He did not return to action until Edmonton's Jan. 27, 1993, game vs. Detroit. ... Led Edmonton with 13 power-play goals in 1992-93. ... Missed part of 1993-94 season with slightly separated right shoulder, an injury suffered when he was checked by Adam Bennett during Tampa Bay's Feb. 27, 1994, game at Edmonton. He did not return to action until Tampa Bay's March 20, 1994, game vs. Washington. ... Tied for Tampa Bay lead with three game-winning goals in 1995. ... Scored his 300th career NHL goal for Tampa Bay during Dec. 13, 1995, game at Hartford, becoming only fourth European player (after Jari Kurri, Peter Stastny and Tomas Sandstrom) to achieve that feat. ... Missed part of 1995-96 season with separated left shoulder, suffered in Tampa Bay's Feb. 23, 1996, game at N.Y. Islanders. He did not return to action until Tampa Bay's March 13, 1996, game at Philadelphia. ... Missed remainder of 1995-96 regular season and start of 1996 playoffs with bruised knee, an injury suffered during Tampa Bay's April 8, 1996, game vs. N.Y. Islanders. He did not return to action until Game 2 of Tampa Bay's first-round playoff series at Philadelphia on April 18, 1996. ... Traded by Los Angeles to Pittsburgh for a conditional draft pick on Oct. 25, 1996. Klima failed to meet the conditions required as part of the trade, and draft pick was later forfeited. ... Contract bought out by Pittsburgh on Feb. 1, 1997, after playing 19 games for team's Cleveland (IHL) farm team. ... Signed with Edmonton as an unrestricted free agent on Feb. 26, 1997. His special contract, which could be canceled by Edmonton at any time, kept him with Oilers through end of 1996-97 season. ... Invited to Detroit's 1998 training camp on Aug. 25, 1998, but was released on Sept. 27, 1998. ... Signed two-way contract with Detroit as a free agent on Jan. 11, 1999, having not played during first half of 1998-99 season. He had to clear waivers before contract could take effect. ... Missed part of 1998-99 season with strained ribcage muscle, suffered in Detroit's Feb. 21, 1999, game at Buffalo.
Klima's Disciplinary Woes: Although he was one of Detroit's bigger stars in the late 1980s, Petr Klima was also a problem for the Red Wings management. That situation came to a head during training camp on Sept. 23, 1988, when Detroit suspended Klima indefinitely, along with Bob Probert, for breaking team rules. At the time of the suspension, the Wings said they would trade Klima, although this never happened. The team also said it would not take Klima back until he had his drinking under control. As a result, Klima missed the start of the 1988-89 season before being reinstated on Oct. 13, 1988, and sent to Adirondack (AHL) on Oct. 16, 1988. He finally made his 1988-89 NHL regular-season debut during Detroit's Nov. 6, 1988, game vs. Edmonton. He had an assist in that game. At his first practice with the team, on Nov. 5, 1988, Klima offered a heartfelt apology to his Wings teammates for his earlier behavior, much of which was alcohol-related. During his months back, Klima roomed with Probert, who was also attempting to beat a drinking problem. Klima managed to stay clean, but Probert wasn't so lucky as his addiction got him in further trouble.
Post-Draft Teams: Jihlava (Czechoslovakia); Adirondack (AHL); Wolfsburg (Germany); Zlin (Czech Republic); Cleveland (IHL); Krefeld (Germany); Litvinov (Czech Republic)
Canada Cup: 1984 (fifth place)
World Junior Championships: 1984 (bronze medal)
Czechoslovakia Championship:
1984, 1985 (Jihlava)
Litvinov Captain: 2001-02 and 2002-03
1988-89: Played five regular-season games for Adirondack team that went on to win AHL playoff title, but was not with team in postseason.
Miscellaneous: Played in Europe during 1994-95 NHL lockout. ... Retired for first time after 1998-99 season and worked for two years at a car dealership in Tampa area. ... Came out of retirement in 2001 to return to Czech Republic and play for Litvinov in 2001-02 and 2002-03.
Klima's Defection: By the time Klima was 20 years old, officials on his Dukla Jihlava team knew that the Detroit Red Wings were eager to bring the young star to the NHL. Rumors were rampant that the Wings were trying to pay off Czechoslovakian authorities to get Klima out of his native country, but despite all the hype that surrounded him, Czech hockey authorities made no real effort to clamp down and prevent Klima from traveling in Europe. As a result, Klima managed to defect to North America during the summer of 1985, making him the first Czech player to defect directly to a U.S.-based team rather than one of the NHL's Canadian teams which had smuggled several Czechs out of Europe in the past. Detroit's bold move was entirely orchestrated by the Red Wings, who knew that Klima was eager to play in North America. After his defection was planned, Klima ditched his Czech national teammates during a team meal at the Czech training camp in Nussdorf, West Germany, to join Wings executive vice-president Jim Lites and assistant coach Nick Polano at an undisclosed location on Aug. 18, 1985. Several days were then spent in the effort to bring Klima to North America, after Lites and Polano, who had flown to Germany on Aug. 15, 1985, kept Klima under wraps in Nussdorf and other cities to avoid pursuit by Czech police. Polano stayed with Klima as Lites and other Wings officials arranged for him to gain refugee status to enter the United States. The Wings were assisted by U.S. attorney general Edwin Meese and deputy attorney general Lowell Jensen in expediting the political-asylum process. It was later revealed that plans to get Klima out of Czechoslovakia reached back as far as the 1984 World Junior Championships, held in Sweden, when Detroit scout Alex Davidson secretly met with Klima in December 1983. Klima told Davidson he would not consider defecting until he had completed his military duty (so as not to be labeled a deserter) in 1985. Less than a year later, at the 1984 Canada Cup, Klima began talking to the Wings about the possibility of coming the NHL after the 1984-85 season. During that time, while in Vancouver with the Czech team, he even signed a secret multiyear contract with the Red Wings. Polano had brought the contract to Klima without Czech officials realizing it. Klima, who spoke no English when he finally arrived in Detroit on Sept. 22, 1985, was fortunate that the Red Wings also managed to bring his girlfriend to the U.S. In honor of his successful defection, a grateful and overjoyed Klima requested sweater number 85 and wore it throughout his NHL career as a reminder of the year in which he gained freedom.
TRADE: Detroit traded Klima, Joe Murphy, Adam Graves and Jeff Sharples to Edmonton in exchange for Jimmy Carson, Kevin McClelland and 1991 fifth-round pick (later traded) on November 2, 1989. More than nine years later, Detroit got Klima back when the Red Wings signed him as a free agent on January 11, 1999.

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Goaltenders: 22
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