Former longtime Capitals goalie Olie Kolzig sat high up in the stands at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Monday, watching prospects and chatting with goaltender coach Dave Prior and other team officials as development camp got underway.
Despite the way Kolzig and the Capitals parted ways in 2008 — he was benched in favor of Cristobal Huet during the playoffs and removed his nameplate from his locker stall after the Game 7 loss to the Flyers — the 1999-2000 Vezina Trophy winner seems to be right at home again in his new role as Washington’s associate goalie coach.
“Obviously it’s well documented what happened a few years ago, but time heals all wounds,” Kolzig said. “Everybody was ready to move on, and this is just another process in that, and I’m glad that I’m back... you don’t bring up the past; you just move forward.”
In a break between the two development camp sessions, Kolzig told reporters he’s looking forward to working with the Capitals’ goalie prospects, which include 2010 draft pick Philipp Grubauer of Germany and 2011 pick Steffen Soberg of Norway.
“I’ve taken two years off from hockey, so to speak,” Kolzig said. “I worked with the juniors back in Tri-City, but just to get back with the organization at the NHL level, be with Dave Prior and watching the young kids, getting his take on things, I’m excited.”
“I was four years old [when I started playing], was professional for 18 years, so you do what you know best,” Kolzig said. “Obviously I’m too old and my body’s not strong enough to play anymore, so the second-best thing is to work with the young kids and teach what you know.”
Check out the video below for more from Kolzig: