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Ex-NHL star Bondra retires to become Slovakian team GM

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia -- NHL veteran and Slovakian star
Peter Bondra retired from professional hockey Monday to become general
manager of his country's national team.

"I kept it a secret for a long time. They will know overseas
only after this press conference," Bondra said, according to the
Slovak national hockey association. "I hope I can help Slovakia
win another medal at the world championship."

The 39-year-old Bondra played last season for the Chicago
Blackhawks before becoming a free agent. He had 503 goals and had
389 assists in 1,081 NHL games, mostly for the Washington Capitals.
He also played for the Ottawa Senators and Atlanta Thrashers.

His contract as general manger runs through 2008, when the
hockey worlds are to take place in Canada. Bondra scored the
decisive goal in the 4-3 victory over Russia at the 2002 hockey
worlds in Sweden that gave Slovakia the title.