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11-08-2012, 02:14 AM
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Dale Rolfe !!!

Awards and Achievements:
Stanley Cup Finalist (1972)

All-Star voting - 17th(1968) 19th(1973)

AHL First Team All-Star (1967)

Offensive Accomplishments:
150 Points in 509 NHL Regular Season Games
29 Points in 71 NHL Play-off Games

117 Points in 337 AHL Regular Season Games
5 Points I 17 AHL Play-off Games

Scoring Percentages:
Points - 59, 48, 48, 37, 37

Best 6 Seasons: 257

At 6'4", 210 lbs, Rolfe was actually one of the biggest players of his time. Using the 1971 season, which was the midpoint of his career, only Pete Mahovlich was taller at 6'5" and no other skater was 6'4". Some teams didn't have a guy over 6'1". Only Bucyk, another Bruin, a Golden Seal, an O6 relic in the west division, and Jerry Korab were heavier.

Rolfe was a rough and tumble player but not to the degree you'd have liked to see for a player his size. He wasn't a major fighter, instead preferring stickwork. His most famous fight was of course against Dave Schultz in the 1973-74 season. Rolfe got pummelled but he hung in there a very long time and stuck it out to the end, despite having his hair pulled and receiving a head butt from Schultz. Details and comments about the fight are listed here.

- Rolfe averaged 23.89 minutes per game in his 506 post-expansion games, including 23.37 in four seasons with the very strong early 1970s Rangers.

- Rolfe placed very highly on his team's depth chart in his 8 full seasons: 4th, 2nd (behind White), 4th (behind Brewer, Baun, Bergman), 4th (behind Park, Neilson, Seiling), 4th (same), 2nd (Seiling), 3rd (Park, Seiling), 4th (Park, Marotte, Greschner).

- Rolfe was an important part of the NY Rangers' PK, leading the team in PKTOI twice. He killed 46% of penalties for teams that averaged about average on the PK (worse in LA & Detroit, better in New York). At even strength, he has a respectable career adjusted +31.

- Fun fact: Rolfe actually took two of the more famous slapshots leading to injury, in hockey history. In 1972, his shot hit Jean Ratelle, breaking his ankle and derailing his Hart and Ross season (he still won the Pearson). In the 1974 playoffs, his slapshot hit Barry Ashbee in the eye, ending his career prematurely.

Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
Dale Rolfe was a forward until he arrived to play junior hockey with the Barrie Flyers of the OHA in 1956. Under the direction of coach Hap Emms, however, his big, lanky frame was moved back to the blueline to serve and protect his future brother-in-law, goaltender Wayne Rutledge.
Afterwards, Rolfe turned pro with the Boston Bruins' organization in 1959-60. He got a three-game tryout in Beantown, but was sent to the minors by coach Milt Schmidt who questioned Rolfe's commitment to work hard with consistency.

The move proved to be quite a stumbling block to his NHL aspirations. He tumbled his way across the Bruins' minor-league chain with stops in Kingston, Portland, and Hershey until a near-death blow was dealt to his career. He was traded to Eddie Shore's Springfield Indians.

In Springfield, players were taught to play a great defensive game by Shore, a man who was a master of the position in his day. But the price of admission was to be an indentured servant. Players on Shore's team were expected to collect tickets at the turn-styles and to clean up the rink after the game?all for a tiny annual stipend. Rolfe once remarked that the donut sellers made more money than the players did.

On the Indians' blueline, Rolfe was paired with future NHLer and fellow prisoner Bill White. Both players knew that they were better than many of the rearguards who were in the NHL at that time. But Shore wouldn't allow either player to go to the big tent unless he received a small mountain of cash and a pile of minor-league players. No offers came through.

Rolfe endured the situation for four seasons and was contemplating his retirement as a form of escape. In the end, though, the Indians were sold to the expansion L.A. Kings. At last, Rolfe was free to return to the NHL. He joined the Kings' blueline corps in 1967 and lasted until 1970 when he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings. In the Motor City questions about Rolfe's self-discipline continued to be raised. It was observed that he had a tendency to skate like a madman to make the team at training camp and then taper off as the season progressed. As a result, his stay in a Wings' sweater was short. He was traded to the New York Rangers in 1971.

With the Rangers, Rolfe really found his NHL legs. There were no more questions raised about his commitment. He became a pillar on defense, especially during any playoff action.

His most infamous moment came during a playoff game in 1974 against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers were intimidating Ranger players all night. At one point, they were zeroing in on defenseman Brad Park. Rolfe had seen enough. He stepped in to support his defenisve partner when he found himself squared off against Dave "The Hammer" Schultz. Before Rolfe could even react, his knees were already buckling under the weight of a severe beating. None of his Ranger teammates came to his aid.

Rolfe survived the drubbing to play one final season. In the 42nd game of the 1974-75 campaign, however, he crashed into the boards, feet first and suffered a severe ankle break that ended his career.
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Rolfe then spent the 1960–61 and 1961–62 season with the Portland Buckaroos of the Western Hockey League. Rolfe then moved to the AHL where he spent the next season with the Hershey Bears and the following four seasons with the Springfield Indians. In the 1967–68 season, he returned to the NHL, playing for the Los Angeles Kings. He played for the Kings until he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings on February 20, 1970. Rolfe stayed in Detroit for the remainder of the 1969–70 season and the majority of the 1970–71 season before being traded to the New York Rangers for Jim Krulicki where he would spend the rest of his professional career, retiring after the 1974–75 NHL season.

Rolfe played a total of 509 NHL regular season games with 25 goals, 125 assists and 556 penalty minutes.

He was recognized by opponents to be a smart defender who uses tremendous reach and strength to play the puck or take a man out of play.
Originally Posted by 1968 Hockey Card
One of the biggest men in hockey at 6-4, 205, Rolfe moves with surprising agility.

Scouting Reports:
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1973
tallest defenseman in the league... knows how to ride his man into the corner and pin him there... when stationed at the front of the net, Rolfe is effective at tying up an opponent, even if it means tugging at an arm, stick, or sweater...
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1974
one of those steady, defensive types who are often overlooked in all-star voting but are treasured by coaches and goaltenders... long reach enables him to use pokechecks when shorter defensemen would have to take the body...
Originally Posted by The New York Rangers: Broadway's Longest Running Hit
a perfect complement for Brad Park on the back line...
Originally Posted by Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide Of Everyone Who Has Ever Played in the NHL
a defenseman with tremendous strength... when Rolfe put his mind to taking his man and keeping him away from the puck, there was little the opponent could do.
Originally Posted by Fischler's Hockey Encyclopedia
One of the biggest skaters in the NHL... upon his arrival in New York, Rolfe matured as a big-leaguer and played the best defense of his life. His skating ability enabled him to lead many a dangerous rush and his long reach enhanced his defensive capabilities...
And a few great quotes from a great book that captures this era very well:

Originally Posted by The Rangers, the Bruins, and the End Of an Era
“Hey, hockey fight, you get a smack in the mouth or you get knocked on your arse, it's over. You go to the penalty box and you come back out, you may hurt a little bit but you're not hurt in a hockey fight. Well, any fight. You get smacked. It's just the punch, it's no big deal. It's part of the game and it's that simple." – Dale Rolfe

… It was Sunday, May 5, 1974 and the New York Rangers had a one nothing lead on the flyers in Philadelphia midway through the first period of game seven of the Stanley Cup semifinals… Park became entangled with Saleski but Dave Schultz stepped in and went after Rolfe. It may have been one of the most one-sided fights ever seen in the NHL. Some writers claimed it was the turning point of the series and that it showed that the Rangers lacked character as a team for not coming to the aid of one of their teammates… So was it as bad as all that? No, absolutely not. In fact, it may have been one of the most overhyped media events ever reported. The fight itself had no effect on the outcome of the game.… Dale Rolfe played during the rest of the game and was not out of the lineup with an injury. New York outshot Philadelphia 15 to 9 in the third period and had 34 shots on net by the end of the night.… Read with the players themselves thought about this fight and the game. It also find the comments from Rolfe, Schultz and Francis in their interview section of this book… Reach your own conclusion on the importance of this fight from the words of the people closest to the event.

Dale Rolfe: "nope I didn't think it was a turning point when it happened. After it happened. I think it was the turning point because Dave Schultz was sent out to get me, get me or Park, one of the other. It was that simple and I'm telling you this from a very good source from Philadelphia. He was on a mission, I said if you want to win this series, get rid of Rolfe. That was that simple. I'm not blowing smoke up my arse or anything, it's a fact… I was playing well and like I say, I’m not bragging, complaining or being indifferent but I know for a fact Schultz was sent out to take me off the ice. (Shero himself said you were playing good.) Yep.”

Bruce MacGregor: "well, I don't think it helped Dale Rolfe at all. Get into a scrap with a guy like that. I mean, Dale really wasn't a fighter either. He was a big tall guy that could look after himself but I mean, he really wasn't looked upon as much of a fighter.… Schultz went after him, you know, obviously to take him out of the game or whatever.”

Dale Rolfe: “Parkie and I just seemed to click. I could go up the ice and I’d be there all alone and I got very adept at two on ones and three on ones. I could skate, you know, for a big guy, 6’4, 220, whatever I was at the time… yes, I could skate, I had the long stride and I was a strong skater…. I never had any other memorable fights… I know one thing, my stick has never lost a fight… In those days you could use it. So you got fined $500 for hitting a guy over the head, so what? The club paid it anyway.” (did other players retaliate because of the stickwork, or did they just give you more room on the ice?) Uh, not in the NHL, I’ve had a few stick fights in the AHL, maybe once in the NHL.

Last edited by Dreakmur: 12-10-2012 at 02:56 AM.
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