“Hey, remember...?” is a lighthearted look back at some of the lesser-known former Bruins we’ve seen pass through these parts in recent years. They might not have been stars and might not be the first guys you’d think of as “former Bruins,” but they’ve all got unique stories.
P.S. Sorry for missing last week’s! I was away for the weekend in D.C. Please forgive me.
Who? Jiri Slegr
When did he play here? 2003-2006
What were his stats? 75 GP, 10G, 27A, 37PTS
What happened after the Bruins? He returned to Europe, playing a season in Switzerland before finishing his career in his native Czech Republic.
Before there was David Krejci, before there was David Pastrnak, there was only one true Czech: Jiri Slegr!
The roving defenseman joined the Bruins in January of 2004; the Vancouver Canucks sent him to the B’s in exchange for future considerations.
Slegr was 32 at the time, and already had a decade of NHL experience under his belt. His most productive years came in the late 90s/early 00s with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He was always more of an offensive defenseman than a stay-at-home type — think Torey Krug, not Adam McQuaid. He joined a good Bruins team in 2004, and was a productive member of that team. He put up 19 points in just 35 regular season games, pretty solid numbers for a defenseman.
Unfortunately for Slegr, he joined the Bruins at the dreaded Transition Time: the 2004 team flamed out against Montreal, then the lockout threw another year away. When Slegr rejoined the Bruins in 2005-2006, the team was bad.
Like, real bad. And it got worse when Joe Thornton got traded.
However, Slegr held his own on a bad team: he put up 16 points in 32 games, including five goals. No, those numbers aren’t eye-popping, but they’re good for a defenseman...especially on that team.
Unfortunately, Slegr was dogged by injury that season, and it wasn’t a pleasant injury: it was a vertebrae issue that required season-ending surgery in March of 2006.
As they were a team in transition, the Bruins didn’t bring Slegr back for the 2006-2007 campaign. He returned to the Czech Republic for part of the season before playing for EHC Biel in Switzerland (also known as the home of Tyler Seguin during the 2012 lockout).
Slegr then took a pretty interesting turn: he became a public official, winning a spot in the lower level of the Czech Parliament. Things got a little confusing after that, so I’ll let Wikipedia explain:
In the 2010 elections, Šlégr was elected into the Chamber of Deputies as a candidate of the Czech Social Democratic Party in the Ústecký kraj, a region in northern Bohemia. Although the Social Democrats won the elections, they found themselves isolated and a right-wing government led by Petr Nečas was formed instead, forcing the Social Democratic Chairman, Jiří Paroubek, to resign. Šlégr, loyal to Paroubek, followed the former chairman in 2011 when he left the Social Democrats and founded a new party, the National Socialists – 21st Century Left. Since he had refused to resign, Šlégr remained in the Parliament as an unaffiliated MP. Šlégr announced on June 14, 2013 that he was “going back to the clean environment among athletes” and stepped down from his position.
Slegr actually did return to pro hockey after his stint in politics, playing two more years in the Czech league before calling it a career in 2015.