Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Sandis Ozolinsh
In 1992 he earned the notice of the world hockey community as a member of the gold medal-winning Russian team at the World Junior Championships on a squad that included fellow NHL players Alexei Yashin, Darius Kasparitis, Alexei Zhitnik and Alexei Kozlov.

Before the World Juniors, he had been the San Jose Sharks' third choice in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft and the 30th pick overall while a member of Dynamo Riga in the Soviet league. After a stint with Kansas City in the IHL, he started with the Sharks in 1992-93.

But while Ozolinsh was a master at scoring and setting up goals as a result of his spectacular end-to-end rushes, he was also aware that he needed to develop a more complete game. The NHL opposition, after all, was quick to figure out a player's particular habits and patterns on the ice and could capitalize on an attacking defender's absence from the front of his own goal.

In October 1995, San Jose management traded Ozolinsh to Colorado for high-scoring winger Owen Nolan, a move that was met with great glee by Avalanche players and staff alike. Pierre Lacroix, the team's general manager, had big plans for the Latvian.

The trade paid big dividends for the Avs, who won the 1996 Stanley Cup with Ozolinsh firmly established as the team's power-play star and scoring defenceman. He was voted to the NHL First All-Star Team in 1997. After parts of five seasons in Colorado, Ozolinsh was dealt to the Carolina Hurricanes in the summer of 2000 where he played for parts of two seasons before joining the Florida Panthers midway through the 2001-02 season.

A member of Latvia's World Championship team and Olympic team in 2002, Ozolinsh remained with the Panthers midway through the 2002-03 season before he was acquired by the upstart Anaheim Might Ducks. Upon his arrival with the Ducks Ozolinsh played a key role helping the club reach the post season and their first Stanley Cup Final. Despite reaching their first Cup final, Ozolinsh and the Ducks were defeated in a hard-fought seven game series to the New Jersey Devils.

In 2003-04, the Ducks struggled and failed in their attempt in returning to the post season. Along with the Ducks struggles, their star defenceman battled injuries and was limited to a mere 36 games and following a lock out year in 2004-05, was dealt to the New York Rangers at the 2006 NHL trading deadline. He completed his 2005-06 as a Ranger and went on to miss the majority of the following season with a recurring knee injury.

In 2006, Ozolinsh represented his homeland in the 2006 Winter Olympics.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1990-91 Dynamo Riga USSR 44 0 3 3 51
1990-91 RShVSM-Energo Riga USSR-3 11 3
1990-91 Soviet Union WJC-A 7 1 2 3 6
1990-91 Dynamo Riga Fr-Tour 1 0 0 0 0
1991-92 Rigas Stars CIS 30 6 0 6 42
1991-92 Russia WJC-A 7 1 5 6 4
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 -9
1993-94 San Jose Sharks NHL 81 26 38 64 24 +16 14 0 10 10 8
1994-95 San Jose Sharks NHL 48 9 16 25 30 -6 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 +2
1995-96 Colorado Avalanche NHL 66 13 37 50 50 0 22 5 14 19 16
1996-97 Colorado Avalanche NHL 80 23 45 68 88 +4 17 4 13 17 24
1997-98 Colorado Avalanche NHL 66 13 38 51 65 -12 7 0 7 7 14
1998-99 Colorado Avalanche NHL 39 7 25 32 22 +10 19 4 8 12 22
1999-00 Colorado Avalanche NHL 82 16 36 52 46 +17 17 5 5 10 20
2000-01 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 72 12 32 44 71 -25 6 0 2 2 5
2000-01 Latvia WC-A 6 0 5 5 2 +7
2001-02 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 46 4 19 23 34 -4
2001-02 Florida Panthers NHL 37 10 19 29 24 -3
2001-02 Latvia Olympics 1 0 4 4 0 -1
2001-02 Latvia WC-A 6 2 1 3 12 -7
2002-03 Florida Panthers NHL 51 7 19 26 40 -16
2002-03 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 31 5 13 18 16 +10 21 2 6 8 10
2003-04 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 36 5 11 16 24 -7
2004-05
2004-05 Latvia Oly-Q 3 0 1 1 4 +2
2005-06 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 17 3 3 6 8 -4
2005-06 New York Rangers NHL 19 3 11 14 20 +2 3 0 0 0 6
2005-06 Latvia Olympics 5 1 3 4 0 0
2006-07 New York Rangers NHL 21 0 3 3 8 -8
2007-08 Worcester Sharks AHL 2 0 1 1 0 0
2007-08 San Jose Sharks NHL 39 3 13 16 24 -11
2008-09
2009-10 Dynamo Riga KHL 43 6 18 24 109 6 0 3 3 24
2010-11 Dynamo Riga KHL 41 5 26 31 62 11 0 7 7 12
NHL Totals 875 167 397 564 638 137 23 67 90 131


NHL First All-Star Team (1997) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1994, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003) Missed majority of 1992-93 due to knee injury vs. Philadelphia, December 30, 1992. Traded to Colorado by San Jose for Owen Nolan, October 26, 1995. Traded to Carolina by Colorado with Columbus' 2nd round choice (previously acquired, Carolina selected Tomas Kurka) in 2000 Entry Draft for Nolan Pratt, Carolina's 1st (Vaclav Nedorost) and 2nd (Jared Aulin) round choices in 2000 Entry Draft and Philadelphia's 2nd round choice (previously acquired, Colorado selected Agris Saviels) in 2000 Entry Draft, June 24, 2000. Traded to Florida by Carolina with Byron Ritchie for Bret Hedican, Kevyn Adams and Tomas Malec, January 16, 2002. Traded to Anaheim by Florida with Lance Ward for Pavel Trnka, Matt Cullen and Anaheim's 4th round choice (James Pemberton) in 2003 Entry Draft, January 30, 2003.
Missed majority of 2003-04 due to shoulder injury vs. Colorado, December 19, 2003. Traded to NY Rangers by Anaheim for San Jose's 3rd round choice (previously acquired, Anaheim selected John DeGray) in 2006 Entry Draft, March 9, 2006. Missed majority of 2006-07 due to knee surgery (October 3, 2006) and a recurring knee injury. Signed as a free agent by Worcester (AHL), October 19, 2007. Signed as a free agent by San Jose, November 2, 2007. Signed as a free agent by Dynamo Riga (KHL), July 13, 2009.