Monday, June 21, 2010

Blueland Guest Goalie: Dwayne Roloson

I like Dwayne Roloson for a few (shallow reasons). 1. He's old. He's actually older than me! The older I get, that harder it gets to find someone my age. 2. He has a catchy nickname, Roli. I also love the fact that Edmonton didn't renew his contract and he went to the Islanders and played really well for them. Hey, I'm easily amused.

Roli has a temper, too. God knows I love that!

I was super excited to be able to see Roli come through Blueland last season!

Albert Dwayne Roloson was born on October 12, 1969 in Simcoe, Ontario. He played four seasons at University of Massachusetts Lowell. Although he was an NCAA All American and a nominee for the Hobie Baker award, Roli graduated undrafted.

In 1994, Roli was drafted as a free agent by the Calgary Flames. Roli spent 4 seasons splitting time between the Flames and their AHL team, the St. James Flames. On November 13, 1996 Roli made his NHL debut by leading the Flames to an OT tie against Dallas. He also picked up the Flames first shutout against the LA Kings on November 28, 1996.

In 1988, Roli was traded to Buffalo to back up Dominik Hasek. He had a good first season with Buffalo, playing in 18 games and posting a SV% .909 and a GAA of 2.77. During the second season, Roli's numbers fell a bit. In the 2000 Expansion Draft, he was picked up by the St. Louis Blues.

Though Roli was picked up by St. Louis, he ended up playing in their AHL affiliate, the Worchester Ice Cats. Roli had a solid season with the Ice Cats playing in 52 games and posting a SV%.929 and a GAA of 2.17. With numbers like that, Roli decided to give the NHL another chance. In 2001 Roli earned a spot with the Minnesota Wild.

Roli had much success in Minnesota. He spent 3 seasons there putting up impressive numbers. In 2004, though he was splitting net duties with Manny Fernandez, Roli earned his first All Stars appearance. During the 2003-04 season he appeared in 48 games and put up a fantastic 1.88 GAA and a .933 SV%.

During the 2005 Lock Out Dwayne played for Lukko Rauma in Finland. He played in 34 games and had a SV% of .931 and a GAA of 2.05. After the lockout, Roli returned to Minnesota and played there for one season.

On March 8, 2006, Roli was traded to the Edmonton Oilers for the first round draft pick. The trade drew a lot of criticism. Kevin Lowe, Edmonton GM had surrendered a first round draft pick to a division rival, plus many felt that he had not obtained a very good goalie in return. These complaints were put to rest when sensational play by Roli helped backstop the Oilers to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2006. Unfortunately in game 1 against Carolina Roli suffered a 3rd degree MCL sprain of his right knee when Oiler Marc-Andre Bergeron backchecked Andrew Ladd into Roli. Roli was out for the season. Ty Conklin and Jussi Markkanen had to step in and take over net duty. The Oilers lost in 7 games.

After a summer filled with months of intensive therapy to recover form his injury, Roli was ready for the 2006-07 season. Playing in 68 games, Roli put up respectable numbers, with a 2.75 GAA and a .909 SV%.

Roli could have tested the waters of free agency back in 2006, but opted to sign a contract with Edmonton. Fans thought that he would be offered a one year contract due to his age, but Kevin Lowe offered him a 3 year deal. Playing in Edmonton is no easy task. Saying they are "passionate" is like saying getting mauled by a lion will give you a scratch. In 2008 Roli moved his family back to Ontario saying:

“Playing in a Canadian city it’s tough on the kids. They’re young, but the older kids at the school know a little bit more and they’re not afraid to … kids are pretty mean. It gets pretty ugly at times at school. There have been times where the kids have come home crying. It’s tough as a parent. You try to explain the situation and get them to handle it the best way without causing any problems.”

In 2009, Roli wanted a 2 year deal from Edmonton, but they would only offer him a one year contract. The New York Islanders offered Roli the 2 year contract he was looking for. Besides, the Oilers had Khabibulin, what could possibly go wrong in the net? *snort* The Islanders missed the playoffs again in the 2009-10 season (though not by as much) buy you can hardly blame Roli. Even on a losing team, Roli managed to post a .907 SV% and a 3.00 GAA while sharing the net with Martin Biron.

Roli has also represented his country in 2007 in the World Hockey Championship.

Good job, old man!


Anonymous June 21, 2010 at 5:55 PM  

Nice writeup - I am a huge Roli fan - just love his competitive nature and focus. Just want to point out one thing though - Roli signed the 3 year deal with the Oilers prior to the 06/07 season, right after the cup run.

I think Roli still has a few more years left, would be great to see him raise the Stanley Cup, especially after the way it ended for him and the Oilers in '06.

Sunshine36616 June 21, 2010 at 7:05 PM  

Yes, you are correct, typo. He signed that contract in July 2006! Thanks so much for the comments! I'm glad I get to see some more of Roli this season.


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