Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Ziggy Palffy
Palffy entered big league hockey with AC Nitra, which at the time was the weakest team in the joint Czech-Slovak league. As a 19 year-old youth, he scored 34 goals. It was also where he played for the first time on right wing next to Josef Stumpel. He also played with Stumpel for the junior national team. Palffy then left for Dukla Trencin and together with Robert Petrovicky and Branislav Janos created the most feared offense in top-level competition. In the 1991-92 season, he became the best shooter and most productive player with 41 goals and 74 points in 45 games. At the same time, he helped Trencin win the country's title.

In 1991 he took part in the World Junior Championship and he made his debut with the Czech senior team in the Canada Cup. However, a shoulder injury prevented him from taking part in the 1992 Olympics. The New York Islanders drafted him in the summer of 1991 in the second round. In the 1992-93 season, his last in competition in his home country, he collected 79 points in 43 games and once again ascended the throne as the most successful points collector.

After his arrival on Long Island, he took number 68 made famous by Jaromir Jagr. But when he started his professional career in 1993, he didn't become a top-notch player right away. He couldn't speak a word of English and was getting used to a new lifestyle and a new style of playing hockey. The better part of the following two seasons were spent with the Salt Lake City Golden Eagles and the Denver Grizzlies of the IHL. He even got the chance to play for Slovakia when the country made its first independent appearance in elite competition during the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.

In the 1998-99 season, he got a late start because he and the Islanders couldn't agree on a new contract. Before the dispute was settled, he played at home in Skalica and in eight games gave his home team 11 goals and 19 points. After his return to Long Island, he kept earning a point a game. However, his teammates were leaving the team one by one. In the summer it was Palffy's turn.

In the summer of 1999, the Los Angeles Kings acquired Bryan Smolinski and Palffy for a pretty high price, young players Olli Jokinen, Josh Green, Mathieu Biron and the first choice in the next draft. On the new team, he once again met with his old acquaintance Josef Stumpel and together with Luc Robitaille they created a powerful new line.

Upon his arrival in Los Angeles, Palffy quickly became a fan favourite and became one of the premier players in the league. However, the talented Slovak found himself signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the summer of 2005 once the NHL lock out season came to an end.

Palffy went on to play 42 games with the Penguins before abruptly announcing his retirement from the game on January 18, 2006 due to recurring shoulder injury. Throughout his playing career, the Slovak native registered 713 points (329-384-713) in 684 NHL games.

Throughout his playing career, Palffy has been a foot soldier when called upon to represent his country, which includes; World Junior Championship (1991-1992), Canada Cup (1991), World Cup of Hockey (1996 and 2004), Winter Olympics (1994 and 2002) and World Championships (1996, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005).


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1990-91 AC Nitra Czech 50 34 16 50 18
1990-91 Czechoslovakia WJC-A 7 7 6 13 2
1991-92 Czechoslovakia Can-Cup 5 1 0 1 2
1991-92 Dukla Trencin Czech 45 41 33 74 36
1991-92 Czechoslovakia WJC-A 6 3 1 4 6
1992-93 Dukla Trencin Czech 43 38 41 79
1993-94 New York Islanders NHL 5 0 0 0 0 -6
1993-94 Salt Lake Golden Eagles IHL 57 25 32 57 83
1993-94 Slovakia Olympics 8 3 7 10 8
1994-95 Denver Grizzlies IHL 33 20 23 43 40
1994-95 New York Islanders NHL 33 10 7 17 6 +3
1995-96 New York Islanders NHL 81 43 44 87 56 -17
1995-96 Slovakia WC-A 5 2 0 2 10
1996-97 Slovakia W-Cup 3 1 2 3 2
1996-97 Dukla Trencin Slovakia 1 0 0 0
1996-97 New York Islanders NHL 80 48 42 90 43 +21
1997-98 New York Islanders NHL 82 45 42 87 34 -2
1998-99 HK 36 Skalica Slovakia 9 11 8 19 6
1998-99 New York Islanders NHL 50 22 28 50 34 -6
1998-99 Slovakia WC-A 6 5 5 10 6
1999-00 Los Angeles Kings NHL 64 27 39 66 32 +18 4 2 0 2 0
2000-01 Los Angeles Kings NHL 73 38 51 89 20 +22 13 3 5 8 8
2001-02 Los Angeles Kings NHL 63 32 27 59 26 +5 7 4 5 9 0
2001-02 Slovakia Olympics 1 0 0 0 0 -1
2001-02 Slovakia WC-A 3 1 6 7 2 +5
2002-03 Los Angeles Kings NHL 76 37 48 85 47 +22
2002-03 Slovakia WC-A 9 7 8 15 18 +9
2003-04 Los Angeles Kings NHL 35 16 25 41 12 +18
2004-05 Slovakia W-Cup
2004-05 HC Slavia Praha CzRep 41 21 19 40 30 7 5 2 7 2
2004-05 HK 36 Skalica Slovakia 8 10 3 13 6
2004-05 Slovakia WC-A 7 5 4 9 10 +1
2005-06 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 42 11 31 42 12 +5
2006-07
2007-08 HK 36 Skalica Slovakia 46 30 45 75 93 13 7 17 24 26
2008-09 HK 36 Skalica Slovakia 53 52 47 99 46 17 12 15 27 12
2009-10 HK 36 Skalica Slovakia 36 17 36 53 28 6 6 6 12 18
2009-10 Slovakia Olympics 7 0 3 3 8 -1
2010-11
2011-12 HK 36 Skalica Slovakia 48 26 57 83 76 6 3 4 7 6
2012-13 HK 36 Skalica Slovakia 39 26 47 73 103 7 3 5 8 2
NHL Totals 684 329 384 713 322 24 9 10 19 8


Czechoslovakian Rookie of the Year (1991)
Czechoslovakian First All-Star Team (1992) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1998, 2001, 2002)
Traded to Los Angeles by NY Islanders with Brian Smolinski, Marcel Cousineau and New Jersey's 4th round choice (previously acquired, Los Angeles selected Daniel Johansson) in 1999 Entry Draft for Olli Jokinen, Josh Green, Mathieu Biron and Los Angeles' 1st round choice (Taylor Pyatt) in 1999 Entry Draft, June 20, 1999.
Missed majority of 2003-04 due to shoulder injury vs. Anaheim, January 7, 2004. Signed as a free agent by Slavia Praha (CzRep), September 15, 2004. Signed as a free agent by Skalica (Slovakia), October 7, 2004. Signed as a free agent by Slavia Praha (CzRep), November 16, 2004. Signed as a free agent by Pittsburgh, August 6, 2005.
Officially announced retirement January 18, 2006. Signed as a free agent by Skalica (Slovakia), July 19, 2007. Officially announced his retirement, August 1, 2013.