|Born|| April 6, 1970 |
Johannesburg, South Africa
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight||221 lb (100 kg; 15 st 11 lb)|
|Played for|| Washington Capitals|
Tampa Bay Lightning
|National team||Template:Country data Germany|
|NHL Draft|| 19th overall, 1989|
Olaf Kolzig (born on April 6, 1970) is a retired South African born German professional ice hockey goaltender and head goaltender 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 career with the Capitals. He was the first African-born player in the NHL.
Olaf was selected by the Capitals in the 1989 NHL Entry 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 Olaf'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, he scored a goal with the Americans. During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Olaf signed with the German club Eisbären Berlin.
He played his first NHL game in the 1989–90 NHL season, only to be sent down to the minors for a few years.
Early in the next season, Ranford suffered an injury and Olaf was called upon to become the starter, at least temporarily.
Olaf 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, Olaf 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, Olaf 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.
Olaf 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.
Olaf 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. Olaf's 2,038 votes led all players.
In 2005, Olaf 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.
He also started in goal again for Germany's Olympic team at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
On February 11, 2006, Olaf signed a two-year, $10.9 million extension with the Capitals.
In February of 2007 (in the midst of a 19–19–5 season), Olaf tore his MCL. Prior to this injury, he had missed only 18 games and never more than four in a row.
In February of 2008, the Capitals acquired goalie Cristobal Huet, who gradually took over Olaf's position as starting goaltender.
Despite this on March 12, 2008, he 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, Olaf announced he did not intend to return to the team.
At the time, Olaf 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, he became an unrestricted free agent and signed a $1.5 million, 1-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Olaf served as the back-up goalie to Mike Smith. In his return to D.C., he was loudly cheered and a video in tribute to his time with the Caps was shown.
On January 28, 2009, it was announced that he would miss the rest of the 2008–09 season due to a ruptured biceps tendon in his left arm.
As Olaf 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 Olaf's deadweight salary.
On September 23, 2009, Olaf announced his retirement from the NHL. Later that year, he was named to the ECHL Hall of Fame and inducted in the Hall of Fame's Class of 2010 at the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game in Ontario, California.
|1987–88||New Westminster Bruins||WHL||15||6||5||0||—||2333||156||0||4.01||—|
|1990–91||Hampton Road Admirals||ECHL||21||11||9||1||—||1248||71||2||3.41||.890|
|1991–92||Hampton Road 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|
Playoff Statistics Edit
|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|
Awards & AchievementsEdit
- 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
- 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).
- 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).
- 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)
Olaf was born in South Africa, but he grew up in several cities across Canada. His family moved to Union Bay, British Columbia when he was a teenager.
He never applied for Canadian citizenship which (combined with his German parentage and German passport) allowed him to represent Germany internationally.
He and his wife Christin have three children: a son named Carson and two daughters named Kendall & Ashlyn.
Olaf 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 Olaf's local and national service, he was awarded the NHL's King Clancy Memorial Trophy for humanitarian service in 2006 and named one of the 10 "Washingtonians of the Year" by Washingtonian Magazine in 2000.