Acquiring Dwayne Roloson from the Edmonton Oilers in the off-season will definitely help the New York Islanders on the defensive end of things this coming NHL season.
The 39-year-old Simcoe, Ont., native helped the Oilers nearly win the Stanley Cup in 2006 after going an impressive 12-5 in the first three rounds of the playoffs and was also named to the NHL Western Conference all-star team in 2004.
The Sheaf: How has your debut with the New York Islanders been?
Dwayne Roloson: So far it’s been great. Obviously changing organizations is always tough, but you know, I’ve been through it before and know what to expect and what you’ve got to be to learn the organization and the people. So far it’s pretty smooth.
Sheaf: Your roots are in Ontario so how does it feel to be back in Canada and how are you adjusting to being south of the border in New York?
Roloson: It’s always nice to come back to Canada. I was born and raised in Canada; the people are great. Especially being back out in Western Canada, I played a lot of hockey out here in Calgary and Edmonton. So far, so good (in New York). There are always little things here and there, like finding your way around, it’s a lot bigger. At the same time we’re away from the main part of New York City so it’s not that bad getting around but traffic is a little bit tedious at times.
Sheaf: What’s it like to be a goaltender in the NHL, facing 100 mile per hour shots on the regular?
Roloson: I don’t actually think about it. It’s part of the prerequisite for us; you’ve got to do it. It’s part of the game. If the puck hits you in the right spot it doesn’t hurt but in the wrong spot it kills.
Sheaf: Goaltenders are known for their zany, superstitious practices. Do you have any?
Roloson: No, I don’t actually. I’m different that way. I dress the same way before games and that’s about the only superstition I have. That’s just the way it is because the whole team dresses up.
Sheaf: Going back to your Edmonton Oilers days when you played against the Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup series of 2006, what was it like to compete in such a high intensity series and how electric was the atmosphere? Didn’t Rexall Place and Whyte Avenue get pretty out of hand?
Roloson: It was electric, that’s for sure. I don’t remember too many times when a city has run out of beer. (Edmonton) ran out of beer once or twice and our arena ran out of beer three times, so just the city itself and how they wrapped around the team. The excitement in Edmonton was just amazing and to be a part of it and be around it is one of the greatest memories I’ll have for the rest of my life.
Sheaf: What advice do you have for any aspiring goaltenders?
Roloson: Have fun and enjoy it. That’s the main thing. Having fun means you’re working hard and you’re going to get better. If you’re not having fun it’s a lot harder to play, that’s for sure.
photo Steve Hiscock