Lightning Acquire Rights to Right Wing Brian Rolston
/ Tampa Bay Lightning
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired the rights to right wing Brian Rolston from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a conditional 2009 or 2010 draft choice, owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie announced.
"As we said earlier this week and we are trying to prove after making our deal with Pittsburgh yesterday, we will work feverishly to improve the Lightning team for the 2008-09 season," owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie said. "We believe getting the Lightning a head start in the negotiating and signing process can help us secure the players we are targeting. Nothing is guaranteed here, but we hope to have a chance to get another quality player in a Lightning uniform sooner rather than later."
Rolston, 35, has skated in 977 career games with New Jersey, Colorado, Boston and Minnesota, tallying 286 goals, 634 points and 372 penalty minutes. A 6-foot-2, 214-pound native of Flint, Michigan, Rolston skated in 81 games with the Wild in 2007-08, tallying 31 goals, 59 points and 53 penalty minutes. Since signing with Minnesota as a free agent prior to 2005-06 Rolston has scored at least 30 goals in the past three seasons, while averaging 29 goals during the past six seasons.
Originally drafted 11th overall by New Jersey in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, Rolston played two seasons at Lake Superior State (winning a National Championship in 1991-92) before making his NHL debut with the Devils in 1994-95. He played parts of six seasons with New Jersey and part of a season with Colorado before joining Boston, where he set a then-career high with 31 goals and 62 points in 2001-02. He joined the Wild after four seasons with the Bruins and established new career bests with 34 goals, 45 assists and 79 points in 2005-06. The left-handed shooting winger often plays the point on the power play, and he has tallied 76 career power-play goals with 39 in the past three seasons. He also led the league in shorthanded points in 2001-02 (10) and 2002-03 (7).
Rolston has represented the USA on many occasions, including the World Junior Championships (1991, 1992, 1993), the World Championships (1996), the World Cup (1997, 2005) and the Oylmpics (1994, 2002, 2006).