|Born:||Feb 17, 1975||Draft:||1999 Lightning, 127th Overall|
|Known For:||SM-Liiga Champion (2006)||Shoots:||Right|
|National Team:||Latvia||Current Status:||Retired|
Kaspars Astashenko (born February 17, 1975) is a former Latvian ice hockey player, having played his final year in the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2000-2001 season. Drafted 127th overall by the Lightning in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Astashenko was already 24 with years of pro hockey experience playing in the top-tier Latvian league, Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), and ECHL. While he was never much of a point-producing blueliner, his large frame and physicality made him an interesting player to watch out for.
Making his debut in the 1999-2000 season, Astashenko appeared in eight games, recording one assist, four penalty minutes and a minus-2 rating. He remained in the International Hockey League (IHL) for the remainder of the year, splitting time between the Detroit Vipers and the Long Beach Ice Dogs. The following year, he returned to the Lightning’s lineup for 15 games and recorded his first and only goal at the NHL level. He received an increase in playing time in the IHL as well and benefited from a 16-point season, a career high for him at that level.
Astashenko made his American Hockey League (AHL) debut during the 2001-02 season, but could not earn himself anymore playing time in the NHL. By the end of the 2002-03 season, he had gone two seasons without a sniff with the Lightning and made the choice to take his talents back to Europe. In eight seasons, Astashenko became quite the journeyman, making trips to Denmark, Latvia, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Italy, and Kazakhstan, before ending his career in 2012 with the Finish second-division league.
Kaspars Astashenko Statistics
- Latvian Champion (1993)
- SM-liiga Champion (2006)
- SM-liiga Playoffs Best Plus/Minus (+7) (2006)
- Italy Most Assists by Defenseman (34) (2009)
- Italy Most Points by Defenseman (44) (2009)