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Kolzig: 'I'll use it as a motivating factor'

Got some morning reading for you. A colleague of mine, Damian Cristodero who covers the Lightning for the St. Pete Times, spoke to Olie Kolzig earlier this week. And Kolzig, as usual, had plenty say.

Here's some of Damian's interview with the former Caps goalie:

Asked about his contentious breakup with Washington and whether he would use the situation as motivation this season, Kolzig said:

There's no question [that] I'll use it as a motivating factor. I don't hold any grudges. I wish things would have been handled differently and didn't end the way they did. But that's the business of hockey, and as an athlete you move on. It's a new beginning for me, my first time being in a different organization. Obviously I want to go and impress and help the team as much as I can. It's more how people perceived how I played last year. I'm going out to show I can still be a dominant goalie in the NHL, and again that last year was an aberration.

As for wearing a uniform other than Washington's for the first time in his NHL career, he said:

It is definitely going to be weird. I'm not going to lie to you, once I made the decision I wasn't going back to Washington I really was contemplating retirement because I didn't know how I'd be able to handle putting on another jersey, but as the weeks went on after the season you have some time to reflect and realize, 'Hey, I still have a lot to give to this game and I don't want to end my career on the way things went last year.' If it means going to another team to do that, then that's what it's going to take and so I've come to grips with it.
It's actually a comfortable situation for me in Tampa. I've known Len Barrie for a number of years and played against him in junior. ... My good friend Jeff Halpern plays there so there s a lot of familiarity in Tampa for me, and with the changes they've made in the last couple of weeks, there's reasons for a lot of optimism in that city and I'm obviously pretty anxious to get down there and get camp under way.

Asked whether Tampa Bay is a good situation for him, Kolzig said:

I think so. Obviously, I wanted to end my career with the same team I stated with, that was my goal and desire but it didn't work out that way. I said going into the free agency period I wanted to go somewhere that made sense and if there wasn't anywhere out there that made sense, I was going to retire. Fortunately, Tampa was an area with all the changes they've made over the last month and al of a sudden becoming a stronger team. I can be the guy who can fill that gap, that transition period between allowing them to develop a little bit more.

Asked if he expects this to be one year engagement in Tampa, (Kolzig's contract is one year, $1.5 plus performance incentives), he said:

I don't. I have a lot of confidence in my ability. I think a lot was made last year, more so than should have been, about my decline. Granted I didn't have as good a year as I had the previous three years but I don't think it was as bad a year as certain people wanted to make it out to be. I'm out to prove that last year was more of an aberration than anything.

It's definitely going to be awkward seeing Kolzig in another jersey next September. But if you're anything like me, you also can't wait for Kolzig's first start against the Caps. That's going to be a memorable one.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 9, 2008; 8:44 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Day Two; Fedorov Rumors (Update)
Next: Caps Re-Sign Laich; Fedorov, too?


Good luck Olie!

Posted by: RITdude | July 9, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, is that really you posting?

I have such confused feelings about Olie right now. Its not that I don't like him, its just, how am I supposed to support him when he's wearing a Lightining sweater?

Posted by: Birdie | July 9, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I hope people won't boo him at Verizon.

Unrelated, but good news for the Cap:

from tsn:

5:56AM Washington Captials re-sign UFA forward Sergei Fedorov to a one-year contract.

Posted by: mauree | July 9, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

TSN reports that Feds resigned with Caps for one year!!!! 5:56 am Great news!!!!!

Posted by: TJ2 | July 9, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

olie has been in a steady decline for years, he will never be a dominant goalie in this league. if he wants to dominate he can go play with jagr. i cant wait to see ovie rip his massive 5-hole apart. that being said i still wish him the best and thank him for years of faithful service.

Posted by: jason | July 9, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Holy Moly! I thought the Caps would resign Feds, but @ 4mil, yikes! I thought 2mil, plus incentives. Hopefully Feds will get to 500 goals and 700 assists. I hope the Caps have enough for ShaMo and Laich. This may be the end of Gordon? Did the Caps make a qualifing offer to Gordon?

Posted by: JIM | July 9, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Federov - 1 yr - 4 million - thats alot...

Posted by: NJ | July 9, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

TSN: "The Washington Capitals have re-signed forward Sergei Fedorov to a one-year $4 million contract."

I told ya he'll get the max! And he deserves it.

Posted by: Simon says | July 9, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

from "Day Two; Fedorov Rumors (Update)"

I won't be surprised if McPhee and Ted will give Feds $4mil/year. Ted said that he was longtime Fedorov's fan. GMGM said Fedorov was the only guy who came to him and congratulated with getting the team into playoffs that were made possible by trades to Huet, Feds and Coooke. For that Feds will get the max.

Posted by: Simon says | July 8, 2008 1:36 PM

hehehe... When Simon says, you gotta be listening!

Posted by: Simon says | July 9, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Kolzig wants to be a dominant goalie? I loved him as a great team player and his community outreach was awesome, but a dominant goalie with the TBL's porous defense. I just hope that Ollie isn't embarrassed by how bad TBL will most likely be in its own end.

Posted by: JIM | July 9, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Glad to hear about Feds!! 4 million is a lot, though I am sure he will be worth it. Lets get ShaMo signed first - we need him and we're closing in on the cap, then Laich & Gordon. Think I may just have to get a Feds jersey now :)

Posted by: Grape8 | July 9, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

My guess is the reason he got the max is they have come to the determination that Pothier wont be playing next year. That frees up an extra 2 million or whatever it is.

Posted by: Pat | July 9, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Pat | July 9, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

4 mil is NOT A LOT for a player like Fedorov. He is stil top 5 center in NHL.

If patheric Mats Sundin, who had never won anything, gets an offer of 2 yer 20 mil, Feds should get even more than that offer wise.

And I think he might got an awesome offer from another team that helped him to leverage his negotiations with Caps.

Feds: "Look, these guys offered me twice as much, but I want to stay in Washington"

Posted by: Simon says | July 9, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

First, even Kolzig knows he did not have a banner year last year. For all of those that were saying he was awesome, please look at HIS quotes.

Second, as much as I wanted Feds to come to DC and play... I think that might be a bit much. That def tells me that Pothier will not be returning and that we can use his 2.5 mil on Laich and Morrison. How much do we have left if Pothier will not be playing after Feds contract?

5 mil? For Fehr, Gordon, Laich, and Morrison.

Also tells me that Alzner will be up with the guys next year.

Posted by: 828 | July 9, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Have to keep in mind, incentives and performance bonuses count against cap number.

I'm OK with 1 year, 4M. He's worth it if he can get this team playing with that playoff spark all year.

Posted by: FFS Enough | July 9, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Brooksie -- nice! Now ShaMo and the team is pretty much ready!

Posted by: JIM | July 9, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I have no problems with the $4M contract.

Posted by: mauree | July 9, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Word. I'm no clavoilant like Simon Say's but I think all the right motivations are in front of Feds to make our investment worth our while.

Do I think the whole asking price was too much? By a mil prob. But unfortunately we can't let Feds' d-bag agent keep us from our destiny.

Posted by: Defense Wins Championships. | July 9, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I just looked at the cap numbers on hockeybuzz, which has the Caps with 6mil in space. That probably counts Pothier, but not Feds 4m and whatever Laich's deal averages over the 3 years.

Here's what I don't get -- TBL is 9.5m under the cap. Can that be right after all their signings? I see only 6 defenders on their roster.

Posted by: JIM | July 9, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

All things considered, Olie saying last year was an abberration.... what were the several previous years? He has not been a dominant goalie for quite a while. Sadly I am not sure he has realized that. And as a previous poster has said, I don't think Tampa's D is going to do him or his stats any favors. They may win by outscoring folks, but it won't be because Olie kept them in the game.

Posted by: Major | July 9, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I hold no ill will towards Olie, and wish him the long as he isn't playing the Caps. I'd rather see the Olie led TBL succeed over the Canes, Thrashers or Panthers, but the Caps should and will be the class of the Southeast. How crazy would it be if the Caps played the Lightning in the first round? Given the sad state of their D, I don't see that happening.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | July 9, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

So ... with all the new signings, he can I can "be the guy who can fill that gap, that transition period between allowing them to develop a little bit more."

So ... when they get really good at some point, and are ready for possible deep playoff runs, that will be about the time Tampa kicks him to the curb and some other goalie takes over.

Way to put yourself in a different situation, Olie.

Posted by: Eddie C | July 9, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@ Simon- Good call on the contract, but I have to disagree with Feds being a top 5 center.Maybe in his Hay day, but I can think probably 10 centers I would take before him at this point in time.

@Sombrero Guy- I also wish olie good health, but that is as far as it goes (with me).He is a goalie on a divisional opponent.....I gotta hope he is on the losing end of EVERY game he starts. If he is not with us/for us...he is against us.....JMHA

Posted by: Fedsisgood | July 9, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I will miss Olie a lot, and I think he will perform well for Tampa, but he won't be dominant. If he plays 50 games that will be a good number for him, but anymore than that and his numbers will decline. But a good move for Tampa to have someone to mentor Mike Smith. I'll cheer him like crazy at Verizon and then all bets are off - Ovie top shelf!

Posted by: Roose | July 9, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I seriously hate you people, No respect

Posted by: Hensmith | July 9, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Can't wait to see Olie's temper rage when the Ovechkin and Semin light him up.

Posted by: Jake | July 9, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

What was not respectfull?? Please fill us in......

Posted by: What have you done lately | July 9, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm kind of sad to that Olie won't be in a Caps' sweater next season...wished he would have retired rather than be playing for the Bolts. I won't ever "boo" Olie at VC, but I will jump up and down and cheer like a madwoman when Ovie and Semin blast a few laser missiles past him!!

Posted by: Carly | July 9, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Best Caps goalie ever.

Posted by: comicbookguy | July 9, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

It's a shame Kolzig's gone solely because he was the face of the franchise for so long (and maybe that ritualistic fist bump with Ovechkin at the end of pre-game warmups).

But old goalies with declining stats don't get to leave on their own terms. Kolzig played like crap last season and admitted as much in that interview. Heck, he's 38 years old and hasn't played like a rock star in more than half a decade.

This reminds me of stick-a-fork-in-me Franco Harris trying to hang on and break Jim Brown's rushing record. Franco should have retired as a Steeler and Olie should have retired as a Cap.

Oh well. Denial is more than just a get my point.

Posted by: Sandmeistr | July 9, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse


kolzig is going to get lit up when we play the lightning... i hate to say it, but i hope he gets benched every time we play them so i don't have to watch. it will not be pretty.

Posted by: moregodzilla | July 9, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

well your name is "what have you dont lately" and your asking me about lack of respect

Posted by: Hensmith | July 9, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Olie has lost his grip on reality. I only wish he were going to the penguins as bad as he is likely to be.

I can't wait to play the lightning now.

Posted by: sapper | July 9, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: carrie | July 15, 2008 4:22 AM | Report abuse

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