Every NHL team carries two goalies, a starter and a backup. The starter starts, the backup backups and occasionally starts to give the starter a rest. It all makes sense to me.
Sometimes however things don’t always go to plan. As was the case for the Minnesota Wild last season when there starting goalie, Niklas Backstrom, needed the night off to be with his wife during the birth of their child. Nothing wrong with that, the backup at the time, Josh Harding, would start the game and everything would be fine.
But now the Wild needed someone to backup the backup. In comes Matt Hackett who was playing for the Wild’s AHL affiliate at the time, the Houston Aeros. The problem was the only available flight to take Hackett to Minnesota wouldn’t arrive until just about puck-drop, and only by the puck-drop if the flight didn’t face any delays.
So, the Wild still needed someone to play the backup until Hackett could arrive. They were forced to do something extremely out of the ordinary. 51 year old, Paul Deutsch, a “nobody” who owns a screen-printing business in Minnesota and also happens to play goalie in a men’s beer league, was tapped by his old friend and former Wild assistant coach Mike Ramsay to be the backup until Hackett arrived and could get dressed.
Deutsch had been pressed into action before for the Wild, but usually just to help out during practices or scrimmages. He had never dressed for a real game before. He was rushed into the arena, signed an amateur tryout agreement contract, got dressed and took to the ice for pre-game warmups.
Unfortunately for us and Deutsch he never saw any game action as Hackett arrived just before puck drop and Deutsch was no longer needed. Needless to say it was a lesson learned for the Wild and they don’t want to get caught in the same situation ever again and apparently they have a plan.
According to NHL.com,the Minnesota Wild will be hosting a contest to find an emergency backup goalie. NHL.com was kind enough to lay out the entire contest:
“The goaltenders will audition before a panel of judges that includes Deutsch, Wild goalie coach Bob Mason and Wild TV analyst and former NHL goalie Mike Greenlay. The event will be held Nov. 15 at the Xcel Energy Center.
Two finalists will be selected and invited to take part in a celebrity shootout during the second intermission of a game between the Aeros and Rockford IceHogs at Xcel Energy Center on Nov. 18. The goalie who does the best in the shootout will be named the Wild’s next emergency goalie, with the runner-up next in line. The finalists also will receive authentic Wild jerseys with their names and numbers on the back.
Selected to compete are: Tyler Brigl, 27, Saint Paul, Minn.; Kevin Donohue, 23, Minneapolis; Ryan Ess, 31, Minneapolis; Shane Hudella, 41, Hastings, Minn.; Amy Jones, 29, Brooklyn Center, Minn; Treye Kettwick, 29, Minneapolis; Mark Klaers, 44, St. Louis Park, Minn.; Mark Ostlund, 24, Saint Paul, Minn.; Alan Strahota, 27, Burnsville, Minn.; Joshua Swartout, 24, St. Louis Park, Minn.; Adam Timperley, 30, Rogers, Minn.”
Pretty cool contest and I’m glad I found the story on NHL.com. I’m sure the contestants named above are pretty amped for it, I know I would be. Good luck boys and give them everything you got, this is definitely a once in a lifetime chance. Not to mention you are playing for any hockey player that ever wanted a shot at making the big leagues.