New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that defenseman Darius Kasparaitis has been loaned to SKA St. Petersburg of the Russian Super League (RSL).
Kasparaitis, 35, appeared in four games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season, registering one goal, along with four penalty minutes and a plus-one rating. In 215 games with the Rangers, he has recorded six goals and 28 assists for 34 points, along with 260 penalty minutes. He also skated in two post-season contests for the Rangers during the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The 5-11, 210-pound defenseman has skated in 863 career NHL games with the Rangers, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh, and Colorado, totaling 27 goals and 136 assists for 163 points, along with 1,379 penalty minutes. In 82 career playoff matches, he registered two goals and 10 assists for 12 points, along with 107 penalty minutes.
The Elektrenai, Lithuania native began his professional career as a 16-year old with Dynamo Moscow (RSL), tallying three goals and 14 assists for 17 points, along with 32 penalty minutes in 59 career contests with the club. Kasparaitis returned to the RSL during the 2004-05 season with Ak Bars Kazan, recording one goal and three assists for four points, along with 118 penalty minutes in 28 games. He also appeared in three post-season games with Ak Bars Kazan that season, collecting eight penalty minutes.
|Darius Kasparaitis, a native of Lithuania, is returning to Europe to play for SKA St. Petersburg. |
Kasparaitis has represented his native country in several international tournaments throughout his career, including four Olympic appearances for Team Russia. In 28 Olympic contests, he has registered one goal and six assists for seven points, along with 20 penalty minutes, and has helped Russia capture Olympic Gold (1992 – Albertville, France), Silver (1998 – Nagano, Japan) and Bronze (2002 – Salt Lake City, Utah) medals.
Originally a first round selection of the New York Islanders, 5th overall, in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft, Kasparaitis was later traded to Pittsburgh, along with Andreas Johansson, in exchange for Bryan Smolinski on November 17, 1996. On March 19, 2002, he was traded to Colorado from Pittsburgh in exchange for Rick Berry and Ville Nieminen. Kasparaitis signed as a free agent with the Rangers on July 2, 2002.