Albert Dwayne Roloson (born October 12, 1969 in Simcoe, Ontario) is a professional ice hockey goaltender with the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League. He has previously played for the Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild, Edmonton Oilers during his professional career. He is often affectionately referred to by his fans as "Roli", which is on his mask.
A Hobey Baker Award nominee and NCAA All-American while tending goal for University of Massachusetts Lowell, Roloson went undrafted after graduating. He was signed as a free agent by the Calgary Flames in 1994. After splitting time between the Flames and their American Hockey League counterpart, the Saint John Flames, he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres to back up Dominik Hašek. Following two years with the Sabres' organization, he was picked up in the 2000 NHL Expansion Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Rather than joining the Blue Jackets, Roloson signed with the AHL team of the St. Louis Blues, the Worcester IceCats.
Deciding to give the NHL one more try, Roloson earned a roster spot with the Minnesota Wild in 2001. In the 2002–03 NHL season, Roloson shared netminding duties with Manny Fernandez as the Wild made their first ever appearance in the post-season, defeating the Colorado Avalanche in the first round and the Vancouver Canucks in the second round. Despite splitting goaltending duties with Fernandez, Roloson earned his first All-Star appearance at age 34, appearing in the 2004 NHL All-Star Game with the Western Conference team. He also won the Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award for having the NHL's best save percentage.
During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Roloson played with the SM-liiga's Lukko. He returned to the Wild once the lockout concluded.
Edmonton years and playoffs
On March 8, 2006, Roloson was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for the first round pick that later became part of a trade for Pavol Demitra and a conditional draft pick that later became a third rounder. Initially, Oilers General Manager Kevin Lowe was harshly criticized for the acquisition when Roloson struggled during the regular season. Lowe was criticized both for not acquiring a better goaltender, and also for surrendering a first round draft pick to a divisional rival.
Criticism was muted following sensational play by Roloson, backstopping the Oilers to the final of the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He had a record of 12–5 through the first three rounds, and along with Chris Pronger, was considered a front-runner for the Conn Smythe Trophy if the Oilers were victorious in the finals.
However, during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Carolina Hurricanes, Roloson suffered a third degree Medial collateral ligament sprain of his right knee when Hurricanes forward Andrew Ladd was pushed into Roloson by a back-checking Oiler defensemen Marc-André Bergeron. Oilers coach Craig MacTavish announced that Roloson would not be able to continue in the series. It was also learned that he had hyper-extended his right elbow in the collision as well. As a result, Ty Conklin lost Game 1 after Roloson's departure and co-backup goalie Jussi Markkanen was left to finish the series. The Oilers eventually lost to the Hurricanes in seven games. Months of intense rehabilitation would follow in order to prepare Roloson for the 2006–2007 season.
Roloson could have tested the Unrestricted Free-Agency market in the summer of 2006 but opted to re-sign with the Oilers on July 1, 2006. The majority of Edmonton fans were expecting Kevin Lowe to sign Roloson to a one or two year contract due to his age, but in the end a three year deal was signed.
He was a member of the Canadian 2007 IIHF World Championship team that won gold in a 4–2 win against Finland in Moscow.
In the 2007–08 season, Roloson started out strong before seeing his record fall to 7–12–0. By early January 2008, backup goaltender Mathieu Garon had taken the reigns as starter. It wasn't until March 13, 2008, when Roloson had seen regular play, coming in as relief for an injured Garon, starting each subsequent game.
When the 2008-09 NHL Season began, Roloson found himself vying for the starting goaltender position with Garon and upstart Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers. For the beginning of the season, it appeared Garon was once again the starter, but after some bad games, Oiler coach Craig MacTavish decided to rotate Garon, Drouin-Deslauriers and Roloson by playing whoever had the hot hand. Eventually, the team had to get rid of one of the goalies and ended up trading Garon to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Roloson claimed the starting spot. Down the stretch, he started 36 consecutive games as the Oilers fought for a playoff spot. During this time, he became the oldest goaltender to start more than 60 games in a single season. Though the Oilers ultimately did not qualify for the post-season, Roloson put up solid numbers, making upwards of 40 saves on a regular basis.
Only days after the last game of the season, Roloson (along with Oilers teammate Shawn Horcoff) was called upon for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championships. He played in the finals against Russia, where Canada lost 2-1, regardless of some "great play" by Roloson.
New York Islanders
On July 1, 2009, Roloson became an unrestricted free agent. After rejecting a 1 year, 3 million dollar deal from Edmonton, Roloson signed a 2 year, $5 million contract with the New York Islanders. The Islanders also signed Martin Biron and have Rick DiPietro on injured reserve, so it is unclear if Roloson will be the starting goaltender for the Islanders.
- NHL Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award - 2004
- NHL All-Star Game - 2004
- AHL Baz Bastien Memorial Trophy (Best Goaltender) - 2001
- AHL First All-Star Team - 2001
- HE First All-Star Team - 1994
- HE Player of the Year - 1994
- HE William Flynn Tournament MVP Award - 1994
- NCAA East First All-American Team - 1994
|1994–95||Saint John Flames||AHL||46||16||21||8||–||2734||156||1||3.42||.900|
|1995–96||Saint John Flames||AHL||67||33||22||11||–||4026||190||1||2.83||.905|
|1996–97||Saint John Flames||AHL||8||6||2||0||–||481||22||1||2.75||.910|
|1997–98||Saint John Flames||AHL||4||3||0||1||–||245||8||0||1.96||.939|
|2000–01||Worcester Ice Cats||AHL||52||32||15||5||–||3127||113||6||2.17||.929|
|1994–95||Saint John Flames||AHL||5||1||4||299||13||0||2.60||.897|
|1995–96||Saint John Flames||AHL||16||10||6||1027||49||1||2.86||n/a|
|2000–01||Worcester Ice Cats||AHL||11||6||5||697||23||1||1.97||.931|