Coyotes Call on Banker to Serve as Emergency Backup Goalie vs. Canadiens on Monday
One of the most awesome things in sports is when an NHL goalie gets injured or sick right before a game and the team doesn’t have enough time to get one of their minor leaguers to the rink.
Yes, I know it sounds weird to say it’s awesome when a guy gets injured or sick, but stay with me here.
You see, when an NHL goalie pulls a hammy or catches the flu and there’s not enough time to get a minor leaguer to the rink, it means some random guy who used to play college hockey is going to get a phone call, and the person at the other end of that call is going to give them a chance to live out their childhood dream.
That’s what happened to 31-year-old banker Nathan Schoenfeld on Monday night. He was going about his daily routine, giving his kids a bath, when he got a text from the Arizona Coyotes equipment manager telling him to pack his goalie gear and get down to Gila River Arena as soon as possible. Backup goalie Anders Lindback suffered an off-ice injury prior to the game, and there wasn’t enough time to get somebody from their AHL affiliate to Phoenix. So the Coyotes needed Schoenfeld on the bench in case something happened to starter Louis Domingue.
Schoenfeld, wearing No.40, skates out with the #Coyotes before the game. He signed an amateur tryout agreement prior to puck drop.
— Sarah McLellan (@azc_mclellan) February 16, 2016
Of course, Nathan Shoenfeld wasn’t a completely random choice. His dad is assistant Rangers GM Jim Schoenfeld, who coached the Coyotes from 1997-99. He played goalie for the club hockey team at Arizona State from 2002-2006, and he occasionally plays goalie for the Coyotes alumni.
That said, Nathan Schoenfeld was never an NHL prospect, and he currently plays for a recreational men’s league. This was still a dream come true, and the moment was not lost on him.
“I was just going to keep my jersey on and stay here as long as I could,” Schoenfeld said after the Coyotes’ 6-2 win over the Canadiens. “But I think eventually I’ll have to go home.”
In case you were wondering how teams find these guys, it turns out they all have a list of emergency backup goalies ready to go at a moment’s notice.
GM Don Maloney says every team has list of emergency goalies. Nathan Schoenfeld’s on that list. He plays in a… wait for it… men’s league
— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) February 16, 2016
As for how this sort of thing works contractually, generally if an emergency backup goalie actually makes it to the bench during a game, he signs a tryout contract that pays $500 and gets to keep the jersey with his name on it.
Of course, most guys would probably do it just for the awesome story to tell their grandkids.
— Greg Dillard (@GregDillard) February 16, 2016
Hat Tip – [New York Daily News]