Brian Rolston

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Brian Rolston
BrianRolstonBruins.jpg
Born (1973-02-21) February 21, 1973 (age 41)
Flint, MI, USA
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 214 lb (97 kg; 15 st 4 lb)
Position Forward
Shot Left
Played for New Jersey Devils
Colorado Avalanche
Boston Bruins
Minnesota Wild
New York Islanders
National team  United States
NHL Draft 11th overall, 1991
New Jersey Devils
Playing career 1993–2012

Brian Lee Rolston (born February 21, 1973) is a retired American professional ice hockey player. He most recently played for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League. He has won a Stanley Cup Championship with the New Jersey Devils in 1995, and the World Cup of Hockey in 1996 playing for Team USA. Rolston has represented the United States of America three times in Olympic competition for ice hockey. In the Salt Lake City Olympics of 2002, he won the Silver Medal.

Brian has four sons, Ryder Scott, Brody, Stone and Zane. His older brother is Ron Rolston, who is the former coach of the Buffalo Sabres. Rolston has been a resident of Traverse City, Michigan.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Rolston is considered a utility forward, as he can play as a centre, left wing and right wing competently. The 6'2', 214 pound forward is best known for his highly regarded two-way ability.

Rolston was drafted in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils as their second pick in the first round. Prior to his NHL career, Rolston played for Lake Superior State University (where as a freshman he scored the game-winning goal and earned Most Outstanding Player honors in the National Championship game, which his team won), then the Albany River Rats of the AHL. He has played for the New Jersey Devils, the Minnesota Wild, the Colorado Avalanche and the Boston Bruins. Rolston was one of four players who was traded from Colorado in the 2000 deal that sent the Bruins' Ray Bourque to the Avalanche. He scored a then career high 62 points, including nine shorthanded goals in 2001–02 with the Bruins. During his career, he has scored a total of 33 shorthanded goals.

Rolston signed with the Minnesota Wild as an unrestricted free agent on July 8, 2004, though his debut with the Wild didn't take place until the 2005–06 season due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout. Rolston often quarterbacked the Minnesota Wild's powerplay (a task normally given to a defenseman) due to his booming shot from the point and strong two-way ability. During the season, he was an on-ice leader and was one of the Wild's top scorers, scoring a new career high of 79 points. He was named as team captain for the Minnesota Wild for February, October, November 2006 and January 2007. During 2006–07, Rolston scored three goals (one on a penalty shot and two in overtime shootouts), using a slapshot from the slot. He was selected for the 2006–07 NHL Western Conference All-Star Team. During the game, Rolston scored two goals and added two assists. Rolston's shot is also known for making Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jean-Sébastien Giguère duck for cover[2] during a game in the 2007-2008 NHL season when Rolston fired a slapshot from the right wing aiming for the top left corner of the net. Giguere visibly ducked to avoid being hit in the mask, resulting in a goal for Rolston. In a similar event during the 2006-2007 NHL season, Rolston fired a slapshot on Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo. The shot hit Luongo in the mask, and though unhurt, Luongo was visiby dazed for minutes, lying on the ice until the team's trainer confirmed he was okay to continue the game. Rolston would later score on a penalty shot using his slapshot in the same game against Luongo.

On June 29, 2008, Rolston's negotiating rights were traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in return for a conditional draft pick in 2009 or 2010.[3] After failing to agree to a contract with the Lightning, Rolston became a free agent the next day on July 1, 2008, and signed a four-year deal worth $20 million to return to the New Jersey Devils.[4]

Rolston was traded to the New York Islanders for Trent Hunter. In reaction to the trade, Rolston was quoted by The Star Ledger as saying "It's been a bit of a rough ride in Jersey, I'm actually happy to go to a place that wants me. I just want to start new. I'm actually really happy about the change. [...] I saw it coming. There was no blindside here. It was something we discussed from the end of the season and into the summer." Rolston had been waived by the Devils during the 2010–11 NHL season, and was then entering the final year of the four-year deal he signed in 2008.[5]

After a poor performance on the Islanders where he only scored 9 points, Rolston was traded from the New York Islanders back to the Boston Bruins along with Mike Mottau in exchange for Yannick Riendeau and Marc Cantin.[6]

After seventeen seasons and 1,256 career NHL games, Rolston announced his retirement from the NHL on April 30, 2013.[7]

Slap Shot Notoriety[edit]

Rolston's frequent use of the slap shot became a specific subject of notoriety during his tenure with the Minnesota Wild. While Rolston was known for having an above average slap shot early in his career, his use of it in unorthodox situations such as penalty shots and shootouts garnered league-wide attention and resulted in Sports Illustrated ranking his shot #8 of all-time in March 2013 (after Rolston's retirement) [8] The advent of his rather frequent use of the shot began with a rather particular event while Jacques Lemaire was the Head Coach of the Wild. Lemaire mentioned to Rolston during practice that he had a dream the night before that Brian used a slap shot in a shootout and scored. The very next day in a game against the Vancouver Canucks, Rolston was granted a penalty shot. Rolston used a slap shot, beating goaltender Roberto Luongo. It was after this event that Rolston began to use the slap shot regularly in rather unorthodox situations, such as shoot outs and breakaways.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1991–92 Lake Superior State Lakers CCHA 41 18 28 46 16
1992–93 Lake Superior State Lakers CCHA 39 33 31 64 20
1993–94 Albany River Rats AHL 17 5 5 10 8 5 1 2 3 0
1994–95 Albany River Rats AHL 18 9 11 20 10
1994–95 New Jersey Devils NHL 40 7 11 18 17 6 2 1 3 4
1995–96 New Jersey Devils NHL 58 13 11 24 8
1996–97 New Jersey Devils NHL 81 18 27 45 20 10 4 1 5 6
1997–98 New Jersey Devils NHL 76 16 14 30 16 6 1 0 1 2
1998–99 New Jersey Devils NHL 82 24 33 57 14 7 1 0 1 2
1999–00 New Jersey Devils NHL 11 3 1 4 0
1999–00 Colorado Avalanche NHL 50 8 10 18 12
1999–00 Boston Bruins NHL 16 5 4 9 6
2000–01 Boston Bruins NHL 77 19 39 58 28
2001–02 Boston Bruins NHL 82 31 31 62 30 6 4 1 5 0
2002–03 Boston Bruins NHL 81 27 32 59 32 5 0 2 2 0
2003–04 Boston Bruins NHL 82 19 29 48 40 7 1 0 1 8
2005–06 Minnesota Wild NHL 81 34 45 79 48
2006–07 Minnesota Wild NHL 78 31 33 64 46 5 1 1 2 4
2007–08 Minnesota Wild NHL 81 31 28 59 53 6 2 4 6 8
2008–09 New Jersey Devils NHL 64 15 17 32 30 7 1 1 2 4
2009–10 New Jersey Devils NHL 80 20 17 37 22 5 2 1 3 0
2010–11 New Jersey Devils NHL 65 14 20 34 34
2011–12 New York Islanders NHL 49 4 5 9 6
2011–12 Boston Bruins NHL 21 3 12 15 8 7 1 2 3 0
NHL totals 1256 342 419 761 472 77 20 14 34 38

International[edit]

Medal record
Competitor for  United States
Ice hockey
Winter Olympics
Silver 2002 Salt Lake City
World Championships
Bronze 1996 Vienna
World Junior Championships
Bronze 1992 Kaufbeuren
Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
1991 United States WJC 4th 8 1 5 6 0
1992 United States WJC Bronze medal icon.svg 7 3 3 6 2
1993 United States WJC 4th 7 6 2 8 2
1994 United States OG 8th 8 7 0 7 8
1996 United States WC Bronze medal icon.svg 8 3 4 7 4
1996 United States WCH Gold medal icon.svg 1 0 0 0 0
2002 United States OG Silver medal icon.svg 6 0 3 3 0
2004 United States WCH 4th 2 0 0 0 0
2006 United States OG 8th 6 3 1 4 4
Junior totals 22 10 10 20 4
Senior totals 31 13 8 21 16

Awards and honours[edit]

Award Year
College
NCAA All-Tournament Team 1992
All-CCHA First Team 1993
AHCA West Second-Team All-American 1993
NHL
All-Star Game 2007
Stanley Cup (New Jersey Devils) 1995

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Russo, Michael. "Rolston sees Minnesota in a positive light: The current New Jersey veteran remains "eternally grateful" and isn't bashful about talking up the Wild.", Star Tribune, March 20, 2009. Accessed March 15, 2011.
  2. ^ "Brian Rolston slap shot on Giguere". YouTube. 2007-02-03. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  3. ^ "Wild trade forward Rolston's rights to Lightning". The Sports Network. 2008-06-29. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  4. ^ "Rolston, Holik return to Devils, join Pandolfo, Salvador". ESPN. 2009-07-02. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  5. ^ Chere, Rich (July 28, 2011). "Devils trade Brian Rolston to Islanders". The Star Ledger. Retrieved July 29, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Bruins get Brian Rolston, Mike Mottau from Islanders". Boston Globe. 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  7. ^ Haggerty, Joe (April 30, 2013). Brian Rolston retires after 17 NHL seasons. Comcast New England. Retrieved September 8, 2013
  8. ^ "Top 10 NHL slapshots of All-Time". Sports Illustrated. 2013-03-08. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Scott Niedermayer
New Jersey Devils first round draft pick
1991
Succeeded by
Jason Smith
Preceded by
Willie Mitchell
Minnesota Wild captain
February 2006
Succeeded by
Wes Walz
Preceded by
Wes Walz
Minnesota Wild captain
Oct/Nov 2006
Succeeded by
Keith Carney
Preceded by
Keith Carney
Minnesota Wild captain
January 2007
Succeeded by
Mark Parrish
Preceded by
Pavol Demitra
Minnesota Wild captain
November 2007
Succeeded by
Mark Parrish