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In the mid-1990s, Jim Carey was widely considered to be the Capitals' goaltender of the future, especially after the young stopper captured the 1996 Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie.
But Carey's play soon went into a rapid decline, and he was dealt to Boston for a package consisting of former Cup-winning goalie Bill Ranford, Rick Tocchet and future captain and current head coach Adam Oates.
Though Ranford would take over the starting role, an injury early in the 1997-98 season provided unproven South African-born Olaf Kolzig a chance to be the No. 1.
From there, all Kolzig did was dominate the rest of the league and lead the Caps to the 1998 Final, announcing his arrival as one of hockey's elite goaltenders.
Two years later, Kolzig would join Carey as the only Capitals goaltenders to capture the Vezina Trophy, but what's most impressive about Kolzig's career is how consistently he was able to provide the Caps with stability in between the pipes.
He posted seven seasons with at least 25 wins, led Washington to three division crowns and finished his 15-year career with the organization as the franchise leader in virtually every meaningful goaltending category.
Off the ice, Kolzig was always a positive influence in the community, serving as a founding member of Athletes Against Autism, and was an outstanding role model in the D.C. area.
Nowadays, the two-time All-Star serves as a goaltending consultant to the Capitals, but fans will not soon forget how much the big netminder did for the franchise and the city as a whole over the course of his illustrious career.