Dave Rogalski, former St. Louis Blues Goalie Development Coach, has been hired by the New Jersey Devils as the teams goalie coach at the NHL level.
Known by the athletes he trains as “Roggy” (affectionately pronounced — “Rouge-E”), Dave has long been one of the best kept secrets in not just Minnesota goalie circles, but goalie coaching in it’s entirety. Rogalski took a unique path as far as NHL goalie coaches are concerned, going from the Huskies in St. Cloud to the USHL and shortly thereafter, the St. Louis Blues.
What Dave is not known for is self promotion. In fact, to his goalies who know Dave the best, that’s an added bonus to working with him. For Dave, it’s never been about himself. The dedication to his goalies shines through in their on ice performance. It’s that, along with his uncanny knowledge of the position that draws them back year in and year out.
Long before Rogalski was hired for the Blues, elite professional goalies who resided in Minnesota were flocking to Dave for a chance to take his knowledge and advance their careers.
From a fans perspective, his career path may seem short and sudden. For those close to Rogalski, and those in the goalie coaching industry, the hiring is no surprise — the New Jersey Devils scooped one of the best.
It’s the age old conundrum, draft and develop, or sign an All Star free agent goalie. For an NHL organization, All Star presence between the pipes brings night in and night out security that comes at a premium.
Let’s take a look back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs just two years ago. As far as the Blues are concerned, the development of Jordan Binnington put them in a position to compete for and ultimately take home the Cup during the 2018-2019 season, and he came from within.
What the average fan doesn’t see, however, is the team working with a goalie like Binngington. At that time in his career, Binnington had bounced around a bit. In fact, he even played 25+ games on loan to the Providence Bruins (AHL Affiliate of the Boston Bruins) the year they would go on to win the Stanley Cup.
So how exactly, does Jordan Binnington go from loaner, to Cup Champ in the same season?
While he’d be the first to tell you that his process alone isn’t the reason for a turnaround like we all had the opportunity to enjoy, it starts with having an elite goalie mind like Rogalski’s in your corner.
Knowing Dave, he’d be the first to credit his goalies. That said, however, he has been credited on numerous occasions with the dramatic change in trajectory of Jordan Binnington’s career.
What makes Rogalski the best choice for the Devils?
In the world of goaltending, it’s not necessarily “at what level you played”. In fact, Dave doesn’t come from even a Division 1 background between the pipes. An undersized goalie, clearly, what he lacked in height he made up for in knowledge and understanding of the position.
Put simply, Dave Rogalksi is one of the brightest minds in the goaltending world, and that’s putting it lightly. Prior to his hire with the Devils, professional goalies would flock to Minnesota’s Twin Cities to train with Rogalski. The list of goalies who have utilized his services to advance their career speaks for itself, and if you talked to him, he’d probably be the first to not mention a single name.
For a private guy, with a private life, a low profile in the world of goaltending has paid off at it’s highest level.
What’s the difference between a goalie development coach and goalie coach?
As far as roles within NHL organizations are concerned, the goalie coach works with the NHL team. The Goalie Development Coach works with the teams goalies throughout the organization, most often with those working their way through the teams minor league affiliates.