The fun and craziness of an emergency goalie suiting up in an NHL game may have just ended.
Per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, teams will be required to carry at least three goalies between their active roster and their “taxi squad” of backup players in the upcoming season. That means it should be far less likely for a team to have to call on an amateur to man the net in an NHL game.
NHL teams are required to carry at least three goalies at all times this season, between the active roster and taxi squad.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 20, 2020
The new rule should ensure that each team has a professional goalie on the ice at all times.
The NHL immediately began discussions on preventing emergency goalie situations after 42-year-old Zamboni driver David Ayres led the Carolina Hurricanes to a wild win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in February 2020. The story was phenomenal as Ayres stopped eight of the 10 shots he faced and became an overnight sensation. Everyone was talking about Ayres’ debut, but the NHL quietly talked about how they could prevent it from happening again.
Rumors suggested the NHL wanted to maintain the integrity of their games even though the Ayres situation brought in a huge wave of publicity. Some wondered if the NHL would’ve acted at all had Ayres and the Hurricanes lost. Others asked if the fact the Maple Leafs were on the losing end played into the league wanting to act. Would this even be a talking point if the Hurricanes lost as they were supposed to? Or if the team on the losing end wasn’t a high-profile club like Toronto?
We can’t fault the NHL for making this change. But we’d be lying if we said we fully agree with the situation. The idea of a “nobody” suiting up and playing in a professional game is the stuff of sporting dreams.
The emergency goalie is dead, long live the emergency goalie!