Karl Alzner

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Karl Alzner
Karl Alzner 2016-04-07 1.JPG
Alzner with the Capitals in 2016
Born (1988-09-24) September 24, 1988 (age 30)
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight 219 lb (99 kg; 15 st 9 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Left
NHL team (P)
Cur. team
Former teams
Montreal Canadiens
Laval Rocket (AHL)
Washington Capitals
NHL Draft 5th overall, 2007
Washington Capitals
Playing career 2008–present

Karl Alzner (born September 24, 1988) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman, currently playing for the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League (AHL) while under contract to the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was drafted in the first round, fifth overall, by the Washington Capitals in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. A standout in junior with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL, Alzner won two World Junior Hockey Championship gold medals with Team Canada 2007 and 2008 (as the captain). Alzner was named the Western Hockey League (WHL)'s top player and Canadian Hockey League (CHL)'s top defenceman in 2008. He won back to back Calder Cups and won the Presidents' Trophy in 2016 and 2017 with the Washington Capitals.

Playing career[edit]

Junior and Canadian Appearance[edit]

As a youth, Alzner played in the 2002 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with a minor ice hockey team from Burnaby.[1] He later played Junior B as a 14/15 year old for the Richmond Sockeyes in 2003–04, and won the PIJHL league championship, the Cyclone Taylor Cup provincial championship and placed 2nd in the Keystone Cup.[2]

Alzner played four Western Hockey League (WHL) seasons with the Calgary Hitmen as part of a standout junior career. His last year he was Captain Alzner next Hitmen Captain His first game for the Hitmen was for the Christmas Teddy bear toss as an underage 15 year old with 14,000 fans in the Saddledome.[3] Alzner was on Team Pacific Silver against Team Toews (West) Gold. [1] He was a Canada national team member winning in 2005 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka and Canada's gold-medal winning team at the 2007 World Junior Hockey Championships as one of only two players who had not been selected in the NHL draft (the other being Sam Gagner).[4] Shortly after returning to Calgary after the World Junior Championships, Alzner headed to Quebec City, Quebec to play in the 2007 Top Prospects Game and Alzner was named Captain of Team White and Sam Gagner was Captain of team Red.

Alzner was an assistant captain in the 2007 Super Series against the Russian junior team, and was named captain of Team Canada for the 2008 World Junior Championships, both of which were won by Canada. Alzner was named the WHL Player of the Year and Defenceman of the Year for the 2007–08 WHL season.[5] He was also named the top defenceman in the Canadian Hockey League.

In 2013, Alzner was invited to tryout for the Canadian men's national team.[6]

Professional[edit]

Alzner was assigned to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) to start 2008–09. He was called up to the Washington Capitals roster on November 26, 2008, making his NHL debut that night against the Atlanta Thrashers. He recorded his first NHL point (an assist) on December 4, 2008, against the New York Islanders. He recorded his first goal the next game on December 6, 2008, on Hockey Night in Canada against Vesa Toskala of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Alzner's reactions to this accomplishment were captured in an audio-journal he was keeping for the Hockey Diaries project. Alzner was sent back down to Hershey on January 28, 2009 to make room for returning defenceman Tom Poti. He was recalled during the Capitals' playoff series with the Pittsburgh Penguins on May 3 as a precautionary measure after injuries to several Washington defencemen, but did not see any action. Alzner won his first Calder Cup Championship 2008–09 with the Hershey Bears against Manitoba.

Alzner with the Capitals in 2013.

In his second season with the Capitals in 2009–10, he was called up to the NHL several times by the Capitals. He played on a defensive pairing with John Carlson in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs Montreal. Alzner won his 2nd Calder Cup Championship (2009–10) with the Hershey Bears against the Texas Stars.

On July 15, 2011, Alzner signed a two-year contract with the Washington Capitals.[7] On July 10, 2013, Alzner signed a four-year contract extensions with the Capitals. Alzner was then invited by Hockey Canada for the 2014 Olympic orientation camp on July 22, 2013.[8]

During the 2015–16 season, on January 27, 2016, Alzner became the Washington Capitals all-time leader in consecutive games played. With 423 consecutive games played he passed Bob Carpenter for the franchise record. The streak began at the beginning of the 2010–11 season.[9]

On July 1, 2017, having left the Capitals as a free agent after 9 seasons, Alzner agreed to a five-year, $23.125 million contract with the Montreal Canadiens, citing Washington's postseason failures as a source of frustration and claiming he "wanted to win".[10] This proved to be a mistake, as the Canadiens finished fourth to last in the league during Alzner's first year with the team (2017–18), missing the playoffs, while the Capitals went on to win the Stanley Cup.

On October 3, 2018, with the Canadiens' set to open the 2018–19 season against the rival Toronto Maple Leafs, Alzner was announced as a healthy scratch. With the decision, Alzner's iron man streak, the fourth longest among active players at the time, ended.[11] He had played in every NHL game since 2010. On November 27th, 2018, Alzner was put on waivers by the Montreal Canadiens when their star defenceman Shea Weber was activated from the injury reserve. Alzner was not claimed by any other NHL organisation and was assigned to the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League where he accepted to play.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Alzner and his wife Mandy have a daughter and son together.[13]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2003–04 Calgary Hitmen WHL 1 0 0 0 0
2004–05 Calgary Hitmen WHL 66 0 10 10 19 12 0 3 3 9
2005–06 Calgary Hitmen WHL 70 4 20 24 28 13 1 3 4 4
2006–07 Calgary Hitmen WHL 63 8 39 47 32 18 1 12 13 4
2007–08 Calgary Hitmen WHL 60 7 29 36 15 16 6 2 8 4
2008–09 Hershey Bears AHL 48 4 16 20 10 10 0 2 2 2
2008–09 Washington Capitals NHL 30 1 4 5 2
2009–10 Hershey Bears AHL 56 3 18 21 10 20 3 7 10 4
2009–10 Washington Capitals NHL 21 0 5 5 8 1 0 0 0 0
2010–11 Washington Capitals NHL 82 2 10 12 24 9 0 1 1 0
2011–12 Washington Capitals NHL 82 1 16 17 29 14 0 2 2 0
2012–13 Washington Capitals NHL 48 1 4 5 14 7 1 1 2 2
2013–14 Washington Capitals NHL 82 2 16 18 26
2014–15 Washington Capitals NHL 82 5 16 21 20 14 2 2 4 6
2015–16 Washington Capitals NHL 82 4 17 21 26 12 0 2 2 6
2016–17 Washington Capitals NHL 82 3 10 13 28 7 0 0 0 2
2017–18 Montreal Canadiens NHL 82 1 11 12 40
2018–19 Montreal Canadiens NHL 9 0 1 1 2
2018–19 Laval Rocket AHL 34 1 5 6 10
NHL totals 682 20 110 130 219 64 3 8 11 16
Medal record
Representing Canada Canada
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Gold medal – first place 2008 Czech Republic
Gold medal – first place 2007 Sweden

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2005 Canada U17 2nd, silver medalist(s) 6 0 1 1 4
2007 Canada WJC 1st, gold medalist(s) 6 0 1 1 2
2008 Canada WJC 1st, gold medalist(s) 7 1 1 2 0
Junior totals 19 1 3 4 6

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA" (PDF). Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 2018. Retrieved 2019-02-15.
  2. ^ "Karl Alzner player biography". richmondsockeyes.com. February 3, 2009. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  3. ^ "Petro Canada teddy bear toss". Calgary Hitmen. April 15, 2004. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  4. ^ "2005 Ivan Hlinka Tournament". Hockey Canada. April 5, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  5. ^ WHL Announces 2007–08 Award Winners; Karl Alzner named Player of the Year, Western Hockey League, April 30, 2008, retrieved October 8, 2008
  6. ^ "TRIO OF FORMER HITMEN INVITED TO TEAM CANADA OLYMPIC CAMP". hitmenhockey.com. July 24, 2013. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  7. ^ "Capitals sign Alzner to two-year deal". Sports.nationalpost.com. July 15, 2011. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  8. ^ "47 players invited to orientation camp". Hockey Canada. July 22, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  9. ^ "Karl Alzner to set franchise record for consecutive games played". Washington Post. January 23, 2016. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  10. ^ "Canadiens agree to terms on a five-year contract with Karl Alzner". Montreal Canadiens. July 1, 2017. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  11. ^ "'They're never easy decisions': Habs to sit Alzner, Plekanec". TSN. October 3, 2018. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  12. ^ "Alzner assigned to the AHL". The Sports Network]]. 2018-11-28. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  13. ^ Oland, Ian (June 1, 2016). "More Dad Strength: Mandy Alzner Gives Birth to Couple's Second Child". russianmachineneverbreaks.com. Retrieved September 26, 2018.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Semyon Varlamov
Washington Capitals first round draft pick
2007
Succeeded by
Anton Gustafsson
Preceded by
Kris Russell
Winner of the CHL Defenceman of the Year
2008
Succeeded by
Jonathon Blum
Preceded by
Kris Russell
Winner of the WHL Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy
2008
Succeeded by
Jonathon Blum
Preceded by
Kris Russell
Winner of the WHL Four Broncos Memorial Trophy
2008
Succeeded by
Brett Sonne