Darius Kasparaitis

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Darius Kasparaitis
Darius Kasparaitis.jpg
Born(1972-10-16) October 16, 1972 (age 41)
Elektrėnai, Lithuanian SSR,
Soviet Union
Height5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)
PositionDefence
ShotLeft
Played forNHL
New York Rangers
Colorado Avalanche
Pittsburgh Penguins
New York Islanders
USSR
Dynamo Moscow
RSL/KHL
Ak Bars Kazan
SKA Saint Petersburg
National team Soviet Union 
Unified Team &
 Russia
NHL Draft5th overall, 1992
New York Islanders
Playing career1988–2009
 
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Darius Kasparaitis
Darius Kasparaitis.jpg
Born(1972-10-16) October 16, 1972 (age 41)
Elektrėnai, Lithuanian SSR,
Soviet Union
Height5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)
PositionDefence
ShotLeft
Played forNHL
New York Rangers
Colorado Avalanche
Pittsburgh Penguins
New York Islanders
USSR
Dynamo Moscow
RSL/KHL
Ak Bars Kazan
SKA Saint Petersburg
National team Soviet Union 
Unified Team &
 Russia
NHL Draft5th overall, 1992
New York Islanders
Playing career1988–2009

Darius Kasparaitis; born October 16, 1972) is a retired Lithuanian professional ice hockey defenceman. He mainly played in the National Hockey League (NHL).

Playing career[edit]

Kasparaitis left Lithuania for Russia at age 14 after training with Aleksey Nikiforov to play ice hockey at a higher level. Kasparaitis played his first game for Dynamo Moscow, one of the premier teams in the Soviet Union, at the age of 16 during the 1988–89 season, and won the Soviet League championship with them in 1992.

He was drafted by the New York Islanders with the fifth overall pick in the first round of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. Kasparaitis played for the New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers.

Kasparaitis was known for his aggressive physical playing style and led his teams in hits[citation needed] several times, including his rookie season, in 1992–93 NHL season with the New York Islanders. Kasparaitis' made a hard hit on Eric Lindros in 1998[1][2] that knocked Lindros out of action for 18 games, and he scored a game seven overtime goal vs. Buffalo in 2001. He was traded to the Colorado Avalanche at the trade deadline in 2002, where he spent the remainder of the 2001–02 NHL season. Kasparaitis eventually wound up with the New York Rangers. During the 2005–06 season, he served as an alternate captain of the Rangers, along with Jaromír Jágr and Steve Rucchin, as the Rangers had no captain.

Because the Lithuanian ice hockey team was relatively weak and hadn't ever played in major competitions, Kasparaitis chose to represent Russia in official events. In December 2005, Kasparaitis was chosen to represent Russia in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

At the start of the 2006–07 season, Kasparaitis was replaced as an alternate captain with the Rangers by newly acquired Brendan Shanahan. He was waived by the New York Rangers on January 24, 2007 and subsequently demoted to the Rangers' affiliate in Hartford. Kasparaitis was once again waived by the Rangers prior to the 2007–08 season.

On November 3, 2007, the Rangers announced that Kasparaitis had been loaned to SKA St. Petersburg of the then-Russian Superleague (RSL), now the KHL. The deal was made possible due to a lack of a transfer agreement between Russia and North America at the time. However, the Rangers retained his NHL rights.

Kasparaitis left an enduring impression with Ranger fans with the team salute that he created. After every Rangers home win, Kasparaitis would direct the players to center ice and have the whole team follow in saluting the fans by raising their sticks in the air before departing the ice. The tradition is still carried on by the Rangers for every home win.[3]

Kasparaitis continued to play for SKA Saint Petersburg in the 2008–09 season. In 26 games, he contributed a single assist.

In the 2009–10 season, he did not play due to an injury and eventually announced his retirement at the conclusion of the season.[4]

Coaching staff career[edit]

On June 19, 2010, Kasparaitis signed as the assistant coach for SKA Saint Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).[5] The contract expired on December 22, 2010.

Family[edit]

Kasparaitis is now a naturalized American citizen. He and his first wife Irina (born 1965 in Russia) have a daughter named Elizabeth who was born in March 19, 1997.

He and his fiancé Lisa Carrol have twin daughters, Liv and Lilly, born in Sweden, September 3, 2008 and a son, Marley, born August 19, 2010 in Russia. They now share their time between Miami and Stockholm.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular seasonPlayoffs
SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPtsPIMGPGAPtsPIM
1988–89Dynamo MoscowUSSR30000 — — — — —
1989–90Dynamo MoscowUSSR10000 — — — — —
1990–91Dynamo MoscowUSSR1701110 — — — — —
1991–92Dynamo MoscowCIS312101214 — — — — —
1992–93Dynamo MoscowIHL71348 — — — — —
1992–93New York IslandersNHL79417211661805531
1993–94New York IslandersNHL761101114240008
1994–95New York IslandersNHL1301122 — — — — —
1995–96New York IslandersNHL4617893 — — — — —
1996–97New York IslandersNHL1805516 — — — — —
1996–97Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL57216188450006
1997–98Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL81481212750008
1998–99Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL4814570 — — — — —
1999–00Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL73312151461111210
2000–01Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL77316191111711226
2001–02Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL6921214123 — — — — —
2001–02Colorado AvalancheNHL11000192103318
2002–03New York RangersNHL803111485 — — — — —
2003–04New York RangersNHL44191048 — — — — —
2004–05Ak Bars KazanRSL2813411830006
2005–06New York RangersNHL670669720000
2006–07New York RangersNHL2422430 — — — — —
2006–07Hartford Wolf PackAHL120338 — — — — —
2007–08Hartford Wolf PackAHL41014 — — — — —
2007–08SKA Saint PetersburgRSL331458380224
2008–09SKA Saint PetersburgKHL2601134 — — — — —
RSL/KHL totals146522272671102255
NHL totals8632713616313798321012107

International[edit]

Medal record
Competitor for  Russia &  CIS & Soviet Union Soviet Union
Winter Olympics
Gold1992 AlbertvilleIce hockey
Silver1998 NaganoIce hockey
Bronze2002 Salt Lake CityIce hockey
World Junior Championships
Gold1992Ice hockey
Silver1991Ice Hockey
European Junior Championships
Silver1990Ice Hockey
YearTeamEventResultGPGAPtsPIM
1991Soviet UnionWJC2613416
1992CISWJC171568
1992CISOly180222
1992RussiaWC5th62134
1996RussiaWC4th80222
1996RussiaWCHSF502214
1998RussiaOly260226
2002RussiaOly361014
2004RussiaWCH5th40118
2006RussiaOly4th80228
Junior totals13281024
Senior totals513121550

Transactions[edit]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eric Lindros timeline
  2. ^ Eric Lindros' concussion history
  3. ^ "Dinosaur On Ice". New York Magazine. 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  4. ^ "Kasparaitis beidz karjeru" (in Russian). parSportu.Iv. 2010-04-18. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  5. ^ "КХЛ: Дарюс Каспарайтис станет тренером в СКА" (in Русский, Russian). КХЛ. June 19, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Scott Lachance
New York Islanders first round draft pick
1992
Succeeded by
Todd Bertuzzi