Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Former Laker Rolston Retires from NHL

Former Lake Superior State University forward Brian Rolston, who led the Lakers to the 1992 NCAA Championship, has retired from the National Hockey League.

Rolston, who played 17 years in the NHL, won a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 1995. The Devils drafted Rolston in the first round, 11th overall, in 1991 from the Compuware junior "A" club in the North American Hockey League.

A native of Flint, Mich., Rolston also played for the Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild and New York Islanders in his career, in which he amassed 342 goals and 419 assists for 761 points in 1,256 regular-season games, according to A fast skater with a hard shot, he added 20-14—34 points in 77 Stanley Cup playoff outings.

A three-time U.S. Olympian, Rolston won a silver medal in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. He was also a member of the American squad that won the first-ever hockey World Cup in 1996, and is now the last player from that team to retire.

“Getting the chance to play the game I love for 17 years has truly been a dream come true,” Rolston said through the NHL Players’ Association in announcing his retirement. “My career has taken me to many great places where I had the privilege to play with some exceptional teammates and in the best league in the world. The memories of all my experiences will certainly stick with me for the rest of my life. I am grateful for the overwhelming support of my friends, family and fans throughout my career.”

Rolston played in a combined 70 games with the Islanders and Boston in 2011-12, his last NHL season, and picked up 7-17—24 points before adding a goal and two assists in seven playoff contests with the Bruins, who were eliminated in the first round last year by the Washington Capitals. He played his final NHL game on April 25, 2012, in Boston's 2-1 overtime loss to Washington at TD Garden in Boston.

He turned pro in 1993-94 with Albany (AHL), and had 5-5—10 points in 17 games after playing for the 1994 U.S National/Olympic Team that season. He then recorded 9-11—20 points in 18 games with Albany the following year during the first NHL lockout to conclude the minor-league league portion of his professional career.

In two seasons at LSSU, Rolston tallied 51-59—110 points in just 80 games. He scored the national championship-winning goal against Wisconsin as a freshman in 1992 at Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, and then scored 33 goals a year later as a sophomore in his final NCAA action.

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