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Arturs Irbe

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Arturs Irbe
Ice Hockey goalkeeper Irbe of EC Red Bull Salzburg
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Height
Weight
5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
190 lb (86 kg)
Teams Dinamo Riga
San Jose Sharks
Dallas Stars
Vancouver Canucks
Carolina Hurricanes
Hk Dynamax Oil Nitra
Johnstown Chiefs
Nationality LAT
Born February 2 1967 (1967-02-02) (age 47),
Riga, Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union
NHL Draft 10th Round 196th overall, 1989
Minnesota North Stars
Pro Career 1991 – present

Artūrs Irbe (born February 2, 1967) is a Latvian professional goaltender, currently an unrestricted free agent who played for the San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks, and Carolina Hurricanes in the National Hockey League.

Playing careerEdit

Artūrs Irbe was drafted in the 10th round, 196th overall by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. His first professional hockey team was Dinamo Riga of the Soviet Hockey League (from 1987 to 1991). After playing in only 2 games during the 1986–1987 season Irbe got a chance to become Dinamo Riga's number one goaltender during the 1987–1988 season when their starting goaltender and Olympic champion, Vitaliy Samoylov went down with a long term injury. In his only full professional season, Irbe was outstanding in helping Dinamo Riga make it to the finals of the Soviet Hockey League where they eventually lost to perennial Soviet champions CSKA Moscow. During this period he also played for the Soviet Union in the World Championships in 1989 and 1990. The Soviet team won those two championships and Irbe was honoured as the best goalkeeper of the 1990 tournament. He refused to play for the Soviet Union in 1991 because Latvia had proclaimed independence from the Soviet Union on May 4, 1990 and the Soviet government attempted to use military force in January 1991 to stop Latvia's independence.

In the 1988–89 season Irbe travelled to North America with his then club Dinamo Riga to play in a series of exhibition games against NHL teams. The next season (1989–90) he was temporarily added to the CSKA Moscow team during an exhibition tour of North America.

His NHL career began in 1991. His first NHL team was the San Jose Sharks, he played with them from 1991–92 to 1995–96. With Irbe between the pipes, the newly established Sharks made their first playoff appearance in the 1993–94 season and upset the top-seeded Detroit Red Wings. That season Irbe played an NHL record 4412 minutes between the pipes for the Sharks. Irbe, affectionately known as Archie, was nicknamed "The Wall" and became a cult figure in San Jose, a status he enjoys there to this day.

Following an injury (his hand being mauled by his pet dog in the offseason) and a poor 1995–96 season, Irbe was released by the Sharks. For the next two years, he was a backup goaltender for the Dallas Stars and the Vancouver Canucks until he became the starter for the Carolina Hurricanes in the 1998–99. Irbe was picked to be a member of the "World" NHL All-Star team in 1998–1999 season, where he became the first goalie to record an assist in an NHL All-Star game. The highest point of his career with the Hurricanes was 2001–02 when Irbe was instrumental in leading the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup finals where they fell to the Detroit Red Wings. In June 2004 he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but never played with the club due to that year's NHL Lockout. After the lockout that cancelled the 2004–2005 season, Arturs played for HK Riga 2000 in Latvia and EC Red Bulls Salzburg in Austria. Recently, he signed with HK Dynamax Nitra playing in the Slovak Ice Hockey Extraliga, but he decided to leave after his unsatisfactory results.

He is notable on the ice for his helmet and padding - he has worn them almost continuously since his NHL debut for the Sharks - which are creased and scuffed with puck marks, stains, and tears. He has earned the nickname "Michelin Man" as a result.

In the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Irbe was Latvia's flag-bearer in the opening ceremonies.

He is divorced from his wife Ilze, and currently lives in Riga, Latvia. Irbe currently works as goalkeeper coach for Dinamo Riga.

Awards & achievementsEdit

  • 1985- European Junior Championships, best goalie
  • 1988- Soviet League, rookie of the year
  • 1990- World Championships, best goalie
  • 1992- Played in IHL All-Star Game
  • 1992- Recipient of IHL's James Norris Memorial Trophy as best goaltender. (Shared with Wade Flaherty)
  • 1994- Played in NHL All-Star Game
  • 1999- Played in NHL All-Star Game
  • 2002- Starting goalie for Latvia in Salt Lake City Winter Olympics
  • 2002- Made it to NHL Stanley Cup Final. Defeated in five games.
  • 2004- Named to ECHL Eastern Conference All-Star team (did not play)
  • 2006- Starting goalie for Latvia in Torino Winter Olympics
  • 2006- Selected as flag bearer for Latvia in 2006 Winter Olympics.

Arturs Irbe is also a member of board of directors of the Kids First Fund, a non-profit organization based in the United States which raises money for projects assisting abused and abandoned children in Latvia (www.KidsFirstFund.org).

Career statisticsEdit

REGULAR SEASON
Year  Team  
                                      GP    Min   W   L   T    GA    GAA   Shots    Sv%   ShO  Pim     S/60    PERS     3STARS
83-84 Riga JJHKL                      
84-85 Dynamo Riga USSRJr
      Soviet Union EURO JUNIOR     5    300                 5   1.00                    0
85-86 Dynamo Riga USSRJr
86-87 Dynamo Riga USSRJr
      Dynamo Riga USSR             2     27                 1   2.22                    0
87-88 Dynamo Riga USSR            34   1870                84   2.70                    0
88-89 Dynamo Riga USSR            40   2460               116   2.85                    0
      Dynamo Riga SUPER SERIES     7    425                23   3.25
89-90 Dynamo Riga USSR            48   2880               116   2.42                    0
      CSKA Moscow SUPER SERIES     4    240                10   2.50
      Soviet Union WORLD           6    315   4   0   1     5   0.95                    1
90-91 Dynamo Riga USSR            46   2713               133   2.94                    0
91-92 Kansas City Blades IHL      32   1955  24   7   1    80   2.46                    0
      San Jose Sharks NHL         13    645   2   6   3    48   4.47     365   .868     0   
92-93 Kansas City Blades IHL       6    364   3   3   0    20   3.30                    0
      San Jose Sharks NHL         36   2074   7  26   0   142   4.11    1250   .886     1     
93-94 San Jose Sharks NHL         74   4412  30  28  16   209   2.84    2064   .899     3      
94-95 San Jose Sharks NHL         38   2043  14  19   3   111   3.26    1056   .895     4      
95-96 San Jose Sharks NHL         22   1111   4  12   4    85   4.59     607   .860     0     
      Kansas City Blades IHL       4    226   1   2   1    16   4.25                    0
      Latvia WORLD-B               4    240   3   0   1     7   1.75                    0
96-97 Dallas Stars NHL            35   1964  17  12   3    88   2.69     825   .893     3     
      Latvia WORLD                 5    300   4   0   1    10   2.00                    1
97-98 Vancouver Canucks NHL       41   1999  14  11   6    91   2.73     982   .907     2     
      Latvia WORLD                 6    358   3   2   1    17   2.85                    1
98-99 Carolina Hurricanes NHL     62   3643  27  20  12   135   2.22    1753   .923     6     
      Latvia WORLD                 4    238                12   3.02      86   .860     0
99-00 Carolina Hurricanes NHL     75   4345  34  28   9   175   2.42    1858   .906     5    
      Latvia WORLD                 5    420   3   1   1    17   2.43     180   .907     
00-01 Carolina Hurricanes NHL     77   4406  37  29   9   180   2.45    1947   .908     6     
      Latvia WORLD                 6    360                13   2.17     159   .924     
01-02 Carolina Hurricanes NHL     51   2974  20  19  11   126   2.54    1282   .902     3     
      Latvia OLYMPICS              1     60   0   1   0     4   4.00      29   .862     0     
02-03 Carolina Hurricanes NHL     34   1884   7  24   2   100   3.18     816   .877     0     
      Lowell Lock Monsters AHL     7    426   3   3   1    21   2.95     229   .908     0   
04-05 Dinamo Riga                 29   1448  19   6   4    74   2.55     637   .902     4
03-04 Johnstown Chiefs ECHL       14    847  10   3   1    30   2.13     411   .927     1     
      Carolina Hurricanes         10    564   5   2   1    23   2.45     228   .899     0     
05-06 Latvia WORLD                 6    283   2   2   1     7   1.48     124   .944     2 
06-07  Hk Dynamax Oil Nitra (SVK)  6    249   1   2   0    22   5.31      96   .814     0
THIRTEEN (13) NHL SEASONS        568  32066 218 236  79  1513   2.83   15033  0.899    33

International playEdit

Played for Latvia in:

External linksEdit


This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Arturs Irbe. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).


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