Olaf Kölzig

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Olaf Kölzig
Olaf Kolzig.jpg
Born (1970-04-06) April 6, 1970 (age 44)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight 221 lb (100 kg; 15 st 11 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for Washington Capitals
Tampa Bay Lightning
National team  Germany
NHL Draft 19th overall, 1989
Washington Capitals
Playing career 1989–2009
Kölzig and Brent Johnson. 2007–08 Washington Capitals practice session at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Virginia

Olaf Kölzig (born April 6, 1970), known as Olie the Goalie or Godzilla, is a retired South African born German professional ice hockey goaltender and head goaltender coach for the Washington Capitals. With the exception of 8 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning, he played his entire 14 year career with the Capitals.

Kölzig was born in South Africa but grew up in several cities across Canada; his family moved to Union Bay, British Columbia when he was a teenager. Kölzig never applied for Canadian citizenship, which, combined with his German parentage and German passport, allowed him to represent Germany internationally.[1] He was the first African-born player in the NHL.

Playing career[edit]

Kölzig was selected by the Capitals 1989 Draft. He spent several years in the American Hockey League with the Baltimore Skipjacks, Rochester Americans, and Portland Pirates, and the ECHL with the Hampton Roads Admirals, after playing major junior hockey for the New Westminster Bruins and Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League (WHL). During Kölzig's time with the Americans, he had an on-ice fistfight with Portland Winter Hawks goaltender Byron Dafoe, someone with whom he would go on to have a friendly rivalry in the NHL—so friendly that they served as each other's best man in their respective weddings. On November 29, 1989, Kölzig scored a goal with the Americans.[2] During 2004/05 NHL lockout he signed with the German club Eisbären Berlin.

Kölzig played his first NHL game in the 1989–90 NHL season, only to be sent down to the minors for a few years. In the 1995–96 NHL season, he was brought up to be a backup for Jim Carey and remained the backup when the Capitals acquired Bill Ranford from the Boston Bruins during the 1996–97 NHL season. Early in the next season, Ranford suffered an injury and Kölzig was called upon to become the starter, at least temporarily. Kölzig wound up playing well for the rest of the season, winning a total of 33 games and achieving a 2.20 goals against average. He remained the starting goaltender for the Capitals until the 2008 trading deadline, and holds virtually every franchise record at his position.

In the 1997–98 season Kölzig led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Finals. In the playoffs, he became only the tenth goalie in NHL history to record four shutouts in one postseason. The Caps were swept in four games by the defending champion Detroit Red Wings.

In 2000, he won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goalie after going 41–20–11 with a 2.24 GAA and five shutouts. In the American Hockey League he won the 1994 Jack A. Butterfield Trophy (MVP of the American Hockey League playoffs) and the 1994 Hap Holmes Memorial Award.

Kölzig was also the starting goalie for the German Olympic team in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, recording a 1.00 GAA and went 2–0. He also played with the German team in the 2004 World Cup, yet went 0–3 with a 3.34 GAA.

Kölzig also has the distinction of being one of four goaltenders to play a scoreless period during an NHL All-Star Game, having done so at the 2000 All-Star Game. He also played in the 1998 All-Star Game, in which he made 14 saves on 17 shots.

In 2004, the Capitals held a vote for fans to determine the top 30 players in the franchise history to celebrate their 30th season in the league. Kölzig's 2,038 votes led all players.

In 2005, he and fellow Tri-City American alumni Stu Barnes became part of an ownership group in their former major junior team, assuring the existence of the Americans in Kennewick, Washington for about ten years.

Kölzig also started in goal again for Germany's Olympic team at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

On February 11, 2006, Kölzig signed a two-year, $10.9 million extension with the Capitals.

Olaf Kölzig 2008

In February 2007, in the midst of a 19–19–5 season, Kölzig tore his MCL. Prior to this injury, Kölzig had missed only 18 games and never more than four in a row.[3]

In February 2008, the Capitals acquired goalie Cristobal Huet, who gradually took over Kölzig's position as starting goaltender. Despite this, on March 12 Kölzig became the twenty-third goalie to win 300 games. The Capitals qualified for the playoffs, and Huet started every game in their first round series against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Capitals lost in seven games. A few weeks after their elimination, Kölzig announced he did not intend to return to the team.[4] At the time, he was the last remaining Capital to have worn the original red, white and blue uniform and the blue jersey from 1995.

On July 1, 2008, Kölzig became an unrestricted free agent and signed a $1.5 million, 1-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.[5] He served as the back-up goalie to Mike Smith. In Kolzig's return to D.C. he was loudly cheered and a video in tribute to his time with the Caps was shown.[6] On January 28, 2009, it was announced that Kölzig would miss the rest of the 2008–09 season due to a ruptured biceps tendon in his left arm.[7]

He was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with Jamie Heward, Andy Rogers and a 4th round pick on March 4, 2009 as part of a trade deadline deal for Richard Petiot.[8] As he was at that time suffering from an injury that would see him out for the rest of the 2008–09 season, the end of which would also see his contract expire, his acquisition from Tampa Bay was largely seen as an effort by Toronto General Manager Brian Burke to "buy" the 4th round pick by taking on Kölzig's deadweight salary.

On September 23, 2009, Kölzig announced his retirement from the NHL.[9] Later that year, Kölzig was named to the ECHL Hall of Fame and was inducted in the Hall of Fame's Class of 2010 at the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game in Ontario, California.[10]

The Capitals have not issued Kölzig's number 37 since his retirement, and he may become the first Capitals goaltender to have his number retired should he be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Off the ice[edit]

Kölzig is known for his service off the ice as well as his accomplishments on the ice. Along with fellow NHLers Byron Dafoe and Scott Mellanby, he founded Athletes Against Autism to raise awareness of autism and encourage more research, as well as the Carson Kolzig Foundation for Youth Autism in honor of his son, who is autistic. Because of his local and national service, he was awarded the NHL's King Clancy Memorial Trophy for humanitarian service in 2006 and was named one of the 10 Washingtonians of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine in 2000.[11]

Olaf was previously married. He has 3 kids.

Awards and achievements[edit]

Washington Capitals records[edit]

The records below are amongst goaltenders only.

Career[edit]

  • Most career games played (711).
  • Most career wins (303).
  • Most career losses (293).
  • Most career ties (86).
  • Most career minutes played (41,261).
  • Most goals allowed (1,860).
  • Most career shutouts (35).
  • Most career points scored (17).

Season[edit]

  • Most games played in a season (73 in 2000).
  • Most minutes played in a season (4,371 in 2000).
  • Most wins in a season (41 in 2000).
  • Most ties in a season (11 in 2000).
  • Highest save percentage in a season (.920 in 1998).

Playoffs[edit]

  • Most career playoffs games played (45).
  • Most career playoffs wins (20).
  • Most career playoffs losses (24).
  • Most career playoffs minutes played (2,799).
  • Most career playoffs goals allowed (100).
  • Most career playoffs shutouts (6).
  • Most career playoffs penalty minutes (12).
  • Lowest career playoffs GAA (2.14)
  • Highest career playoffs save percentage (.927)

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Season Team League GP W L T OTL MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1987–88 New Westminster Bruins WHL 15 6 5 0 2333 156 0 4.01
1988–89 Tri-City Americans WHL 30 16 10 2 1671 97 1 3.48
1989–90 Tri-City Americans WHL 48 27 16 4 2504 187 1 4.48
1989–90 Washington Capitals NHL 2 0 2 0 120 12 0 6.00 .810
1990–91 Hampton Road Admirals ECHL 21 11 9 1 1248 71 2 3.41 .890
1990–91 Baltimore Skipjacks AHL 26 10 12 1 1367 72 0 3.16 .889
1991–92 Hampton Road Admirals ECHL 14 11 3 0 847 41 0 2.90 .914
1991–92 Baltimore Skipjacks AHL 28 5 17 2 1503 105 1 4.19 .878
1992–93 Rochester Americans AHL 49 25 16 4 2737 168 0 3.68 .882
1992–93 Washington Capitals NHL 1 20 2 0 6.00 .714
1993–94 Portland Pirates AHL 29 16 8 5 1725 88 3 3.06 .906
1993–94 Washington Capitals NHL 7 0 3 0 224 20 0 5.36 .844
1994–95 Portland Pirates AHL 2 1 0 1 125 3 0 1.44 .952
1994–95 Washington Capitals NHL 14 2 8 2 724 30 0 2.49 .902
1995–96 Portland Pirates AHL 5 5 0 0 300 7 1 1.40 .957
1995–96 Washington Capitals NHL 18 4 8 2 897 46 0 3.08 .887
1996–97 Washington Capitals NHL 29 8 15 4 1644 71 2 2.59 .906
1997–98 Washington Capitals NHL 64 33 18 10 3788 139 5 2.20 .920
1998–99 Washington Capitals NHL 64 26 31 3 3586 154 4 2.58 .900
1999–00 Washington Capitals NHL 73 41 20 11 4371 163 5 2.24 .917
2000–01 Washington Capitals NHL 72 37 26 8 4279 177 5 2.48 .909
2001–02 Washington Capitals NHL 71 31 29 8 4131 192 6 2.79 .903
2002–03 Washington Capitals NHL 66 33 25 6 3894 156 4 2.40 .919
2003–04 Washington Capitals NHL 63 19 35 9 3738 180 2 2.89 .908
2004–05 Eisbären Berlin DEL 8 452 19 2 2.52 .905
2005–06 Washington Capitals NHL 59 20 28 11 3506 206 0 3.53 .896
2006–07 Washington Capitals NHL 54 22 24 6 3184 159 1 3.00 .910
2007–08 Washington Capitals NHL 54 25 21 6 3154 153 1 2.91 .892
2008–09 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 8 2 4 1 410 25 0 3.66 .898
NHL totals 719 303 297 63 24 41,670 1885 35 2.71 .906

Playoffs[edit]

Season Team League GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1987–88 New Westminster Bruins WHL 3 0 3 149 11 0 4.43
1989–90 Tri-City Americans WHL 6 4 0 318 27 0 5.09
1990–91 Hampton Road Admirals ECHL 3 1 2 180 14 0 4.66
1992–93 Rochester Americans AHL 17 9 8 1040 61 0 3.52
1993–94 Portland Pirates AHL 17 12 5 1035 44 0 2.55
1994–95 Washington Capitals NHL 2 1 0 44 1 1 1.35 .952
1995–96 Washington Capitals NHL 5 2 3 341 11 0 1.93 .934
1997–98 Washington Capitals NHL 21 12 9 1351 44 4 1.95 .941
1999–00 Washington Capitals NHL 5 1 4 284 16 0 3.38 .845
2000–01 Washington Capitals NHL 6 2 4 375 14 1 2.24 .908
2002–03 Washington Capitals NHL 6 2 4 404 14 1 2.08 .927
2004–05 Eisbären Berlin DEL 3 178 7 1 2.36
NHL totals 45 20 24 2799 100 7 2.14 .927

International[edit]

Year Team Event   GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA
1996 Germany WCH 1 0 1 0 45 5 0 6.67
1997 Germany WC 4 0 3 0 199 13 0 3.92
1998 Germany Oly 2 2 0 0 120 2 1 1.00
2004 Germany WC 5 2 2 1 299 11 0 2.21
2004 Germany WCH 3 0 3 0 180 10 0 3.34
2006 Germany Oly 3 0 1 2 179 8 0 2.68
Senior int'l totals 18 4 10 3 1022 48 1 2.82

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Legends of Hockey: Olaf Kolzig". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2007-07-28. 
  2. ^ Olaf "Godzilla" Kolzig
  3. ^ Solomon, George (2007-02-18). "He's Been Iron in the Pipes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  4. ^ El-Bashir, Tarik (2008-05-08). "A Net Loss For Washington". The Washington Post". Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  5. ^ "Olaf Kolzig signs with Tampa Bay". thehockeyherald.com. 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  6. ^ "Washington spoils Kolzig's return with 4–2 win". sports.yahoo.com. 2008-11-10. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  7. ^ "Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Olaf Kolzig out for the year". espn.com. 2009-01-28. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  8. ^ "Olie Kolzig not upset by trade from Tampa Bay Lightning to Toronto Maple Leafs". tampabay.com. 2009-04-05. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  9. ^ "After 14 seasons, goaltender Olaf Kolzig retires". Canadian Press. 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  10. ^ "2010 ECHL Hall of Fame Class is Brown, Gingher, Kolzig and Noren". ECHL. December 3, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-11. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Washingtonians of the Year 2000". washingtonian.com. 2001-01-01. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Reggie Savage
Washington Capitals first round draft pick
1989
Succeeded by
John Slaney
Preceded by
Dominik Hašek
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
2000
Succeeded by
Dominik Hašek
Preceded by
Jarome Iginla
Winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy
2006
Succeeded by
Saku Koivu