Roloson "excited' to join Lightning in playoff push
Veteran goaltender Dwayne Roloson said he was excited to find out late Saturday night he was traded to the Lightning, relishing the opportunity for another playoff run.
But Roloson, 41, admitted he isn't even the happiest person in his household about the deal, which sent minor league defenseman Ty Wishart to the Islanders.
“My oldest son, Brett (10), is a big Marty St. Louis fan,” Roloson said. “I think he was even more excited than I was.”
Roloson found out late Saturday night he'd be moving on to his sixth team in 13 NHL seasons. He got on a plane in Calgary today en route to Tampa to join the Lightning for Monday's practice. While waiting for his connection flight in Houston, Roloson took time to call to discuss many topics:
*On another chance at playoffs: Roloson, a 2004 All-Star who has played in 33 playoff games, hopes for another crack at his first Stanley Cup. Roloson led the Oilers to the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals, but hurt his right knee in Game 1 in a series they lost in seven games to the Hurricanes. He also backed up Dominik Hasek with the Sabres in the 1998-1999 finals.
“It’s a little unfinished business from the last time,” Roloson said. “I’ve been to the Finals twice, and lost twice. So hopefully the third time is the charm.”
*On the Lightning: Roloson, who said he knows a few of the Lightning players, including St. Louis and goalie Dan Ellis, said it sounds like a "good group of guys" who are exciting on the ice, blending grit and skill. "I love watching them play," he said.
*On his performance this year: Roloson, playing for the fourth-place Islanders, posted a 2.64 G.A.A and a .916 save percentage, including stopping 34 of 35 shots in a 2-1 win over the Lightning Dec. 22.
"I'm a competitor, I always want to see better results. So for me personallly, I'm playing okay. Not great."
*On the journey he took in his career, which began as undrafted underdog out of University of Massachussets Lowell (where he was a Hobey Baker nominee). "I don't take anything for granted anymore," he said. "YOu never take a day off. “You always have somebody behind you trying to take your job.”
In the Lightning's case, there will be more. General manager Steve Yzerman said they plan on carrying three goalies, even when G Mike Smith (right knee) is healthy in a week or so. The best performers will start, with coach Guy Boucher deciding playing time. Roloson said he's perfectly fine with that, and pointed out he's been in a couple three-goalie situations before. Roloson said it's definitely an adjustment, but typically the three work together toward the main goal of winning.
-- JOE SMITH