It appears Zenon Konopka, who in May of 2014 was handed a 20-game suspension for violating terms of the NHL-NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program, isn’t ready to call it a career just yet.
Konopka’s unique skill set could be an intriguing option for some teams. In addition to fighting regularly in the NHL, he was also one of the best faceoff men. In the AHL, a league he’s willing to return to, he was also top playmaker.
“I had a good time in that league,” Konopka said. “It’s a lot different being put in big situations. So you kind of miss that. It’s a closer league down there. Guys are younger. You’re on the road, on the bus. You kind of miss that as hockey players.”
When the suspension was announced, Konopka, through a statement from the NHLPA, accepted responsibility for his actions but maintained he did not know the substance he ingested was in violation of the league’s program.
Konopka’s last NHL game was back on April 13, 2014, as a member of the Buffalo Sabres. He fought Brett Gallant of the New York Islanders on that night.
In 346 NHL regular season games, Konopka scored 12 goals and 30 points, while getting dinged for 1,082 penalty minutes.