After 14 seasons, veteran goaltender Olaf Kolzig announced his retirement Wednesday from the National Hockey League.
Kolzig played 139 games in the AHL, compiling a record of 62-53-13 with five shutouts. He reached the Calder Cup Finals twice in his career, with Rochester in 1993 and with Portland in 1994, when he backstopped the Pirates to their first AHL championship. Kolzig won the Jack Butterfield Trophy as the most valuable player of the 1994 playoffs.
Kolzig, 39, a two-time NHL All-Star (1998, 2000) and former Vezina Trophy winner (2000), appeared in a total of 719 NHL games, 711 of those with the Washington Capitals. His 303 career wins rank him 21st all-time among goaltending wins leaders. Kolzig also posted a career 2.71 goals-against average along with a .906 save percentage and 35 shutouts.
Drafted 19th overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals, Kolzig, 39, was the first South African-born player to be drafted into the NHL. He led Washington to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998 and became one of the most popular players in franchise history. He won 30 games on five occasions, including a 41-20-11 mark in 1999-2000 when he captured the Vezina Trophy.
Kolzig, born in Johannesburg, South Africa, also holds German citizenship, which has enabled him to represent Germany in numerous international hockey competitions. At the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, Olaf helped lead Germany to two wins during the tournament, a competition that featured the best players from around the world for the first time in Olympic history. Kolzig’s other international hockey experiences representing Germany include the World Championships (1997, 2004), the World Cup of Hockey (1996, 2004), and the 2006 Torino Olympics.
Kolzig is a dedicated humanitarian and supporter of many charities. He and his wife founded the Carson Kolzig Foundation in support of their son Carson. Kolzig also co-founded Athletes Against Autism, along with former NHL players Byron Dafoe and Scott Mellanby, and he received the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2006 for his leadership qualities and humanitarian contributions.