May 9, 2008

Say Goodbye To Olie Kolzig

It looks like goaltender Olie Kolzig will not be playing for the Washington Capitals anymore. After 19 years of mostly excellent service to the organization that drafted him, it appears he will be playing elsewhere if at all next season. The Washington Post's Tarik El-Bashir was first to break the news. Comcast SportsNet's Jill Sorenson has since interviewed Kolzig as well. You can watch the video on Washington Post Live tonight. Also, Mike Vogel's article on the end of the fantastic Kolzig era is a must read.

The news is a little hard to take for many of us, although we all probably knew it was coming. You can't carry three goalies forever, even if all three are good. Kolzig wasn't at his best for much of the season, but don't forget that his teammates weren't much help early on. Around the time of the trade deadline, when the Cap's picked up netminder Cristobal Huet, Olie's play really picked up. Huet played as well as he has ever played in his entire career, though some of his wins came with a good bit of help from his teammates, especially in the playoffs. I'm being serious when I say that Kolzig was just as good as Huet down the stretch. However, I agree that Kolzig's effectiveness is never going to be as consistent as it used to be. At 38 years of age, you've got to expect that.

It's heartbreaking to think about how Olie stuck around through the hard times, and when the Capitals finally raise the Stanley Cup sometime within the next couple seasons, he won't be around to share in what he has rightfully earned. There have been many other great hockey players who never won the cup, and there will be plenty more. When Huet faltered in the playoffs and Kolzig wasn't even given the chance to play in one game, it became very clear that his time in Washington was over. Sad that it had to end this way, but it's "Time To Say Goodbye".

Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman - "Time To Say Goodbye"

Skid Row - "I Remember You"

Thank You Olie!

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