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Sandis Ozoliņš ( ; ; born August 3, 1972) is a Latvianmarker ice hockey player and captain for Dinamo Riga of the Kontinental Hockey League. He is a 7-time NHL All-Star, Stanley Cup champion, Norris Trophy finalist, the all-time leader for points and games played by a Latvian in the NHL, the all-time goal leader among defencemen in San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche history and the second highest paid sportsman in Latvian history, after NBA basketball player Andris Biedriņš. He is often considered a prototype "offensive defenseman," in that he becomes heavily involved in his team's offense and scoring opportunities.

Ozoliņš was drafted in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks, as the 8th pick of the 2nd round, 30th overall. He has skated for the San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and New York Rangers.

Ozoliņš is also the owner of Vilki OP/LaRocca of the Riga Open Championship. Ozoliņš also owns other Latvian sports ventures, including Latvia's first 18-hole golf course, Ozo Golf Club.

Playing career

Ozolinsh, born in Latvia, played his earliest hockey for the Soviet Unionmarker, which was still in existence in 1990-91. By 1992, the team was playing under the new flag of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and won the World Junior Championships, giving Ozolinsh his only medal from international competition.

Just prior to that win, Ozolinsh was drafted 30th overall by the San Jose Sharks in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft and had already started playing for the Kansas City Blades, a minor league team in the International Hockey League. Ozolinsh didn't stay in the minors very long, though, joining the Sharks in 1992-93. Immediately his scoring touch was revealed. He scored 23 points in 37 games his rookie season, and followed that with an 81 game, 64 point sophomore effort. That points total would be the second-highest of his career.

Ozolinsh stayed with the Sharks for just one more full season, and at the start of the 1995-96 campaign, San Jose traded him for Nordiques/Avalanche forward Owen Nolan.

Colorado Avalanche

In 66 games during his first season, Sandis scored 50 total points, with more than half on the power play. The Avs went on to win the Stanley Cup that season. The following season he played well garnering votes for the Norris Trophy given to the leagues most outstanding defencemen. The following three seasons with the Avalanche weren't as successful, but he continued to play well only dipping below .70 points per game in 1999-2000, his final year in Denvermarker.

Hurricanes, Panthers, Ducks

During the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Ozolinsh was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for Nolan Pratt and draft picks that became Vaclav Nedorost, Jared Aulin, and Agris Saviels.

Ozolinsh played just one and a half seasons with Carolina before being traded to the Florida Panthers. During 2001-02, the Panthers sent him to Anaheim. During this time, his offense began to tail off a bit, as age was showing its signs. He still enjoyed an appearance in the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals with the Mighty Ducks, but his second Cup would prove elusive.

Recent Years

During the 2005-06 season, Sandis was traded from the Ducks to the New York Rangers for a third-round draft pick (which the Rangers had obtained earlier in a trade with the San Jose Sharks) at the March 9, 2006 trade deadline. On December 18, 2006, on the heels of a 6–1 loss to New Jersey, the Rangers placed Ozoliņš on waivers. After clearing waivers, Ozoliņš was assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL), but a short while later he was put on the injured reserve instead. That started his battle with alcohol and injury began to unravel his career. Combined with a serious knee problem, his entry into the league's substance abuse program and a drunk driving arrest looked to be the end of the road for him.

After re-hab, he signed a one-year contract with the Sharks on November 2, 2007 and scored 3 goals and gave 13 assists in 38 games.

In 2009 after a few years away from the game, Sandis signed and is currently playing for Dinamo Riga as a captain for the first time in his career. In October, 2009 it was cofirmed that Ozolinsh has shoulder injury and in November he will be under operation and it's expected him to be without play for the rest year. Ozolinsh also confirmed that he will not return to national team in Olympics 2010.

Transactions



  • June 24, 2000 - Traded by the Colorado Avalanche, along with Columbus' 2000 2nd round draft choice, to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Nolan Pratt, Carolina's 2000 1st round draft choice, Carolina's 2nd round draft choice and Philadelphia's 2000 2nd round draft choice.






  • March 9, 2006 - Traded by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to the New York Rangers in exchange for San Jose's 2006 3rd round draft choice.


  • November 2, 2007 - Signed a one year deal for US$850,000 with the San Jose Sharks.


  • July 13, 2009 - Signed a one year deal with the Dinamo Riga.


Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1990–91 Dinamo Riga USSR 44 0 3 3 51  —  —  —  —  —
1991–92 Stars Riga CIS 30 6 0 6 42  —  —  —  —  —
1991–92 Kansas City Blades IHL 34 6 9 15 20 15 2 5 7 22
1992–93 San Jose Sharks NHL 37 7 16 23 40  —  —  —  —  —
1993–94 San Jose Sharks NHL 81 26 38 64 24 14 0 10 10 8
1994–95 San Jose Sharks NHL 48 9 16 25 30 11 3 2 5 6
1995–96 San Francisco Spiders IHL 2 1 0 1 0  —  —  —  —  —
1995–96 San Jose Sharks NHL 7 1 3 4 4  —  —  —  —  —
1995–96 Colorado Avalanche NHL 66 13 37 50 50 22 5 14 19 16
1996–97 Colorado Avalanche NHL 80 23 45 68 88 17 4 13 17 24
1997–98 Colorado Avalanche NHL 66 13 38 51 65 7 0 7 7 14
1998–99 Colorado Avalanche NHL 39 7 25 32 22 19 4 8 12 22
1999–00 Colorado Avalanche NHL 82 16 36 52 46 17 5 5 10 20
2000–01 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 72 12 32 44 71 6 0 2 2 5
2001–02 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 46 4 19 23 34  —  —  —  —  —
2001–02 Florida Panthers NHL 37 10 19 29 24  —  —  —  —  —
2002–03 Florida Panthers NHL 51 7 19 26 40  —  —  —  —  —
2002–03 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 31 5 13 18 16 21 2 6 8 10
2003–04 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 36 5 11 16 24  —  —  —  —  —
2005–06 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 17 3 3 6 8  —  —  —  —  —
2005–06 New York Rangers NHL 14 2 10 12 12 3 0 0 0 6
2006–07 New York Rangers NHL 21 0 3 3 8  —  —  —  —  —
2007–08 Worcester Sharks AHL 2 0 1 1 0  —  —  —  —  —
2007–08 San Jose Sharks NHL 39 3 13 16 24  —  —  —  —  —
2009–10 Dinamo Riga KHL 21 4 8 12 50  —  —  —  —  —
NHL totals 875 167 397 564 638 137 23 67 90 131


International play

   
Year Team League GP G A Pts PIM
1991 USSRmarker World Junior Championship Div. A 7 1 2 3 6
1992 USSRmarker/CIS1 World Junior Championship Div. A 7 1 5 6 4
2001 Latviamarker World Championship Div. A 6 0 5 5 2
2002 Latviamarker Olympic Games 1 0 4 4 0
2002 Latviamarker World Championship Div. A 6 2 1 3 12
2005 Latviamarker Olympic Qualification 3 0 1 1 4
2006 Latviamarker Olympic Games 5 1 3 4 2


1 - during the tournament, USSRmarker broke up and team was recalled as CIS national team, but Ozoliņš and Sergei Zholtok were from Latvia, which wasn't member of CIS so some other teams protested, but the protest was denied.

Awards



References



External links




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