Kölzig before a game in 2007
6 April 1970|
Johannesburg, South Africa
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||221 lb (100 kg; 15 st 11 lb)|
Tampa Bay Lightning
19th overall, 1989|
Olaf Kölzig (born 6 April 1970), known as Olie the Goalie or Godzilla, is a South African-born German former professional ice hockey goaltender, subsequently the goaltender coach and now player development coach for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL). With the exception of 8 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning, he played his entire 14-year NHL 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. He was the first African-born player in the NHL.
Kölzig was selected by the Capitals in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. He spent several years in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Baltimore Skipjacks, Rochester Americans, and Portland Pirates (with whom he won the 1994 Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as MVP of the AHL playoffs, and the 1994 Hap Holmes Memorial Award), and the East Coast Hockey League (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 went 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 29 November 1989, Kölzig scored a goal with the Americans. During 2004–05 NHL lock-out 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 1995–96, he was brought up to be a backup for Jim Carey and remained so when the Capitals acquired Bill Ranford from the Boston Bruins during 1996–97. Early in the next season, Ranford suffered an injury and Kölzig became the starter, at least temporarily. Kölzig played 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 many franchise records 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 the Final 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. 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.
On 11 February 2006, Kölzig signed a two-year, $10.9 million extension with the Capitals.
In February 2007, in the midst of a 19–19–5 season, Kölzig tore his medial collateral ligament (MCL). Prior to this injury, Kölzig had missed only 18 games and never more than four in a row.
In February 2008, the Capitals acquired goalie Cristobal Huet, who gradually took over Kölzig's position as starting goaltender. Despite this, on 12 March 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. 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 1 July 2008, Kölzig became an unrestricted free agent and signed a $1.5 million, 1-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning. 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. On 28 January 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.
He was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with Jamie Heward, Andy Rogers and a 4th round pick on 4 March 2009 as part of a trade deadline deal for Richard Petiot. 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.
The Capitals have not issued Kölzig's number 37 since his retirement.
In 2005, he and fellow Tri-City American alumnus 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 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 honour 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. 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.
Olaf is married with three children.
Kölzig was also the starting goalie for the German Olympic team at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, recording a 1.00 GAA and went 2–0. He played for Germany at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and went 0–3 with a 3.34 GAA. Kölzig also started in goal for Germany at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
Awards and achievements
- Jack A. Butterfield Trophy – 1994.
- Hap Holmes Memorial Award – 1994 (along with Byron Dafoe).
- NHL All-Star Game – 1998 and 2000.
- Vezina Trophy – 2000.
- NHL First All-Star Team – 2000.
- DEL Champion – 2004–05.
- King Clancy Memorial Trophy – 2006.
- One of Ten "Washingtonians of the Year" (From Washingtonian Magazine) – 2000.
- ECHL Hall of Fame Inductee, Developmental Player – 2010.
Washington Capitals records
The records below are amongst goaltenders only.
- Most career games played (711).
- Most career wins (301).
- 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).
- Most games played in a season (73 in 2000) (Tied with Braden Holtby).
- Most minutes played in a season (4,371 in 2000).
- Most ties in a season (11 in 2000).
- 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)
|1987–88||New Westminster Bruins||WHL||15||6||5||0||—||2333||156||0||4.01||—|
|1990–91||Hampton Roads Admirals||ECHL||21||11||9||1||—||1248||71||2||3.41||.890|
|1991–92||Hampton Roads Admirals||ECHL||14||11||3||0||—||847||41||0||2.90||.914|
|2008–09||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||8||2||4||—||1||410||25||0||3.66||.898|
|1987–88||New Westminster Bruins||WHL||3||0||3||149||11||0||4.43||—|
|1990–91||Hampton Road Admirals||ECHL||3||1||2||180||14||0||4.66||—|
|Senior int'l totals||18||4||10||3||1022||48||1||2.82|
- "Legends of Hockey: Olaf Kolzig". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 28 July 2007.
- Olaf "Godzilla" Kolzig
- Solomon, George (18 February 2007). "He's Been Iron in the Pipes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- El-Bashir, Tarik (8 May 2008). "A Net Loss For Washington". The Washington Post". Retrieved 9 May 2008.
- "Olaf Kolzig signs with Tampa Bay". thehockeyherald.com. 1 July 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
- "Washington spoils Kolzig's return with 4–2 win". sports.yahoo.com. 10 November 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
- "Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Olaf Kolzig out for the year". espn.com. 28 January 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
- "Olie Kolzig not upset by trade from Tampa Bay Lightning to Toronto Maple Leafs". tampabay.com. 5 April 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
- "After 14 seasons, goaltender Olaf Kolzig retires". Canadian Press. 23 September 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
- "2010 ECHL Hall of Fame Class is Brown, Gingher, Kolzig and Noren". ECHL. 3 December 2009. Archived from the original on 12 May 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2010.
- "Washingtonians of the Year 2000". washingtonian.com. 1 January 2001. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
- Olaf Kölzig's player profile at NHL.com
- "One on one with Olaf Kolzig", HoboTrashcan.com.
- Olaf Kölzig's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Athletes Against Autism
- Olaf Kolzig biographical article, NHL.com
|Awards and achievements|
|Washington Capitals first round draft pick
| Succeeded by|
|Winner of the Vezina Trophy
| Succeeded by|
|Winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy
| Succeeded by|