Brian Rolston is a thirty-eight year old NHL veteran. In sixteen seasons, he has played for the New Jersey Devils, Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild and currently plays for the New York Islanders. Rolston, the alternate captain for the Isles, has scored 335 goals and tallied 404 assists in his career. He was an All-Star during the 2006-2007 season and won a Stanley Cup with the Devils during the 1994-1995 season. On top of his NHL career, Rolston played for team USA in the 1994, 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics. He had three assists while helping the United States win a Silver Medal at the ’02 games in Salt Lake City.
Brian Rolston is more than just a gifted hockey player, though. He is also a husband and a father.
Rolston answered some questions for TheFatherLife about his family, life on the road and his kids getting old enough to root for dad
On the Rolston family:
3 boys – Ryder (9) going to be 10 in Oct, Brody (8), Stone (6) and wife is pregnant due in November – 3 boys another one on the way, so 4 boys. Wife – Jennifer.
On family being the most important:
Well, every time you’re not at the rink, you spend time with your kids. That’s the most important thing. They are the most important things in my life, bar none. Hockey is secondary. Obviously, you have to work to pay the bills, but they’re the most important thing in my life. I make sure I make the time. It’s going to be a little tougher here on theIsland, but anytime I can get back and be with them and spend quality time with them, that’s number one in my life.
On being away from his family while being on the road:
I see them plenty, but we’ll see when the season starts. It’s definitely a fine balance, but I really think you have to take advantage of the summers because your wife so does so much work during the hockey season, with all of the kids, making sure everything is smooth, so that you can play hockey and not be disturbed by anything. I think that’s probably one of the most important things – I have a great wife who keeps that balance for me. And also, the summers, that’s your time to be the father, that full-time dad.
On his family not making the move to Long Island and still living in New Jersey:
Yeah, they’re inNew Jersey. It’s only like an hour back there. They move with me everywhere I go. They’d be on theIslandwith me if we weren’t so close and they were set in school, things like that. We’ll see what happens going forward, but they’re going to stay there. They’re comfortable. They’re in school. We’ll see what happens.
On new technology and communicating with his children while on the road:
Face-time – you have to feel fortunate that you have that kind of technology now that you didn’t have in the past. Absolutely, facetime – talk to them. It’s definitely a fine balance.
On his boys playing hockey:
All three boys play (hockey). My oldest one is competitive, plays for the Youth Devils. I’m looking forward to bringing him around the dressing room. I didn’t have that opportunity inNew Jersey. They kind of frown upon that, but that’s something that I want to share with them. I’m getting towards the end of my career, so it’s fun be with them and for them to understand what I do for a living. You know, they’re at the age now, where they do understand it, so it makes it fun.
On what his boys think about dad playing hockey:
It’s funny. Sometimes it can be tough on them too – when dad gets traded, things like that can be tough on them, but I think they’re young enough that it’s like ‘what’s the next new jersey that I’m getting?’ They’re excited about that part. My oldest one, he obviously looks up to me and is really consumed by hockey, not that I push it on him, but I think it’s a matter of life for him. Your dad does it for a living.
On the best part of being a father:
There are so many things. The unconditional love you get from your kids. And you see them and you watch them grow up, they’re turning into little people, with their own thoughts and things like that. Rewarding to be able to see your parents in you kind of, move along in a positive manner, not just myself but also my wife.
30 year old freelance writer and The Father Life‘s resident beer columnist and sports editor. He also writes about fine beverages for drinkingmadeeasy.com and Chilled Magazine. On top of that, he writes about college and professional lacrosse for insidelacrosse.com. He’s also written for Genesee Valley Parenting Magazine, the Democrat and Chronicle Newspaper and ESPN.com. “Osburn on Tap” appears monthly in THE FATHER LIFE. For questions, comments, or if you have a story idea for Chris, throw him an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on twitter http://www.twitter.com/chrisosburn