October 16, 1972 |
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)|
New York Rangers
New York Islanders
Ak Bars Kazan
SKA Saint Petersburg
|National team|| Soviet Union
Unified Team &
|NHL Draft||5th overall, 1992
New York Islanders
Kasparaitis left Lithuania for Russia at age 14 after training with Aleksey Nikiforov to play ice hockey at a higher level. Kasparaitis played his first game for Dynamo Moscow, one of the premier teams in the Soviet Union, at the age of 16 during the 1988–89 season, and won the Soviet League championship with them in 1992.
He was drafted by the New York Islanders with the fifth overall pick in the first round of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. Kasparaitis played for the New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers.
Kasparaitis was known for his aggressive physical playing style and led his teams in hits several times, including his rookie season, in 1992–93 NHL season with the New York Islanders. Kasparaitis' made a hard hit on Eric Lindros in 1998 that knocked Lindros out of action for 18 games, and he scored a game seven overtime goal vs. Buffalo in 2001. He was traded to the Colorado Avalanche at the trade deadline in 2002, where he spent the remainder of the 2001–02 NHL season. Kasparaitis eventually wound up with the New York Rangers. During the 2005–06 season, he served as an alternate captain of the Rangers, along with Jaromír Jágr and Steve Rucchin, as the Rangers had no captain.
Because the Lithuanian ice hockey team was relatively weak and hadn't ever played in major competitions, Kasparaitis chose to represent Russia in official events. In December 2005, Kasparaitis was chosen to represent Russia in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
At the start of the 2006–07 season, Kasparaitis was replaced as an alternate captain with the Rangers by newly acquired Brendan Shanahan. He was waived by the New York Rangers on January 24, 2007 and subsequently demoted to the Rangers' affiliate in Hartford. Kasparaitis was once again waived by the Rangers prior to the 2007–08 season.
On November 3, 2007, the Rangers announced that Kasparaitis had been loaned to SKA St. Petersburg of the then-Russian Superleague (RSL), now the KHL. The deal was made possible due to a lack of a transfer agreement between Russia and North America at the time. However, the Rangers retained his NHL rights.
Kasparaitis left an enduring impression with Ranger fans with the team salute that he created. After every Rangers home win, Kasparaitis would direct the players to center ice and have the whole team follow in saluting the fans by raising their sticks in the air before departing the ice. The tradition is still carried on by the Rangers for every home win.
Kasparaitis continued to play for SKA Saint Petersburg in the 2008–09 season. He played in 26 games.
Coaching staff career
- June 20, 1992: New York Islanders 1st round pick, 5th overall in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft.
- November 17, 1996: Traded by the New York Islanders, along with Andreas Johansson, to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Bryan Smolinski.
- March 19, 2002: Traded by the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Rick Berry and Ville Nieminen.
- July 2, 2002: Signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers.
- November 3, 2007: Loaned to SKA St. Petersburg.
- 1990: European Junior Championship All-Star Team
- 1992: World Junior Championships Best Defenseman
Kasparaitis is now a naturalized American citizen. He and his first wife Irina (born 1965 in Russia) have a daughter named Elizabeth who was born in March 19, 1997.
He and his fiancé Lisa Carrol have twin daughters, Liv and Lilly, born in Sweden, September 3, 2008 and a son, Marley, born August 19, 2010 in Russia. They now share their time between Miami and Stockholm.
|1992–93||New York Islanders||NHL||79||4||17||21||166||18||0||5||5||31|
|1993–94||New York Islanders||NHL||76||1||10||11||142||4||0||0||0||8|
|1994–95||New York Islanders||NHL||13||0||1||1||22||—||—||—||—||—|
|1995–96||New York Islanders||NHL||46||1||7||8||93||—||—||—||—||—|
|1996–97||New York Islanders||NHL||18||0||5||5||16||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||New York Rangers||NHL||80||3||11||14||85||—||—||—||—||—|
|2003–04||New York Rangers||NHL||44||1||9||10||48||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004–05||Ak Bars Kazan||RSL||28||1||3||4||118||3||0||0||0||6|
|2005–06||New York Rangers||NHL||67||0||6||6||97||2||0||0||0||0|
|2006–07||New York Rangers||NHL||24||2||2||4||30||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||Hartford Wolf Pack||AHL||12||0||3||3||8||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||Hartford Wolf Pack||AHL||4||1||0||1||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||SKA Saint Petersburg||RSL||33||1||4||5||83||8||0||2||2||4|
|2008–09||SKA Saint Petersburg||KHL||26||0||1||1||34||—||—||—||—||—|
|Russian Totals (8 Seasons)||146||5||22||27||267||11||0||2||2||55|
|NHL Totals (14 Seasons)||863||27||136||163||1379||83||2||10||12||107|
|AHL Totals (2 Seasons)||16||1||3||4||12||—||—||—||—||—|
|Olympic medal record|
|Gold||1992 Albertville||Ice hockey|
|Silver||1998 Nagano||Ice hockey|
|Bronze||2002 Salt Lake City||Ice hockey|
|World Junior Championships|
|European Junior Championships|
Played for the Soviet Union in:
- 1990 European Junior Championships (silver medal)
- 1991 World Junior Championships (silver medal)
Played for CIS/Unified Team in:
- 1992 World Junior Championships (gold medal)
- 1992 Winter Olympics (gold medal)
Played for Russia in:
- 1992 World Championships
- 1996 World Championships
- 1996 World Cup of Hockey
- 1998 Winter Olympics (silver medal)
- 2002 Winter Olympics (bronze medal)
- 2004 World Cup of Hockey
- 2006 Winter Olympics (alternate captain)
|Senior Int'l Totals||51||3||12||15||50|
- Eric Lindros timeline
- Eric Lindros' concussion history
- "Kasparaitis beidz karjeru" (in Russian). parSportu.Iv. April 18, 2010.
- "КХЛ: Дарюс Каспарайтис станет тренером в СКА" (in Русский, Russian). КХЛ. June 19, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
- Darius Kasparaitis's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Darius Kasparaitis's player profile at NHL.com
- Darius Kasparaitis – player profile and career stats at European Hockey.Net
- "Dinosaur On Ice", New York Magazine article
|New York Islanders first round draft pick