VETERAN JOINS NASHVILLE’S DUNHAM AND RANGERS’ RICHTER
RALEIGH, NC (Dec. 19, 2001) -
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| ||Tom Barrasso came back strong after spending last season away from the game. |
Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Tom Barrasso was named to the United States Men’s Olympic Hockey Team Wednesday night. The announcement was made during ESPN’s Wednesday Night Hockey Game.
Barrasso, 36, has played a major role in Carolina’s stay on top of the Southeast Division and was one of the top NHL free agent signings during the past offseason. After taking last season off to tend to medical care for his daughter, Ashley, 14, Barrasso has picked up where he left off. He is 9-9-3 with a 2.34 goals against average and .918 save percentage. Barrasso has started the last six games for the Hurricanes and was named the NHL’s Player of the Week last week.
“I’m very excited to have the chance to represent my country at the Olympic Games,” Barrasso said. “After taking a year off, to have the chance to come back and be considered and be one of the best American players at my position is a tremendous honor.
“A goalie’s accomplishments aren’t done by himself. I’m grateful to my teammates to get the opportunity to play at my best as well.”
Barrasso is one of the top American goaltenders in NHL history. He ranks second among American-born goaltenders in wins (362, John Vanbiesbrouck 372), games played (755, Vanbiesbrouck 877) and shutouts (37, Frank Brimsek 40). Overall, Barrasso ranks 10th all-time in the NHL in wins and is fifth among active goaltenders in shutouts. He needs 38 victories to reach 400 in his career.
“This is a well deserved honor. Our organization is proud to be a part of his career. We congratulate him and wish him the best of luck,” Carolina Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Jim Rutherford said.
This is not the first time Barrasso was selected for the U.S. Olympic team. He was selected for the 1984 team after his senior year of high school at Acton-Boxboro (Mass.) High School. After attending the U.S. training camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., Barrasso signed with the Buffalo Sabres as an 18-year-old and thus became ineligible as a professional. Those rules have since been changed.
“I hoped to get a chance in 1998 (when the NHLers were first eligible),” Barrasso said. “After the beginning of the season, it was definitely a goal of mine to get selected for this year’s team.”