Centre Peter Ihnacak was a crafty playmaker and solid checker who played parts of eight years with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 80s and 90s. He also played several years in Czechoslovakia, Switzerland and Germany in a pro career that lasted nearly two decades. During the mid point of his NHL career he had the opportunity to play with his younger brother Miroslav.
Born in Poprad, Czechoslovakia, Ihnacak first gained attention by helping his country win the bronze medal at the 1977 World Junior Championships. He then spent five years in the Czechoslovakian league with Dukla Jihlava and Sparta Praha. After contributing to his country's silver medal win at the 1982 World Championships, Ihnacak was drafted 25th overall at the NHL Entry Draft. This selection was also significant in that it was an extra draft pick set to the Leafs by Philadelphia as part of the package for star centre Darryl Sittler.
As a rookie, the young forward formed a solid line with Miroslav Frycer and fellow freshman Walt Poddubny. In fact, both Ihnacak and Poddubny set franchise records by scoring 28 goals in their first seasons. The next year the hard-working centre was limited to 47 games due to injury. He then scored 22 goals in 184-85 and was one of the few bright spots when Toronto finished with the lowest point total in the league.
Ihnacak was a key checker and playmaker when Toronto came within a game of reaching the semifinals in 1986 and 1987. By the late 80s he began spending parts of the season in the AHL since the Leafs had more depth at centre with the likes of Vince Damphousse, Tom Fergus and Ed Olczyk. After registering 73 points in 72 games for the Newmarket Saints in 1989-90, Ihnacak signed with the Freiburg club of Germany. Over the next few years he provided scoring and veteran savvy on the Kloten and Ajoie teams in Switzerland and Germany's Krefelder before retiring in 1996.