NHL

Wild ink deal with 51-year-old goalie

Share This Story

   
 

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP)

Paul Deutsch's pals in his recreational hockey league needed to find a replacement goalie Wednesday night. The 51-year-old embroidery shop owner was going to be suiting up for another team: The NHL's Minnesota Wild.

top nhl families

Brotherly love

The Sedins are just one of the best NHL families.

The Wild signed Deutsch to an amateur tryout contract to serve as an emergency backup to starter Josh Harding for Wednesday's game against the Nashville Predators.

''Actually giving up my Wednesday night game,'' Deutsch said. ''We play at Bloomington Ice Gardens at 9:45 p.m. till they turn the lights off. Tonight's the night. I can't make it.''

Deutsch was signed after Niklas Backstrom was declared out for personal reasons. Matt Hackett was recalled from Houston, but his flight wasn't scheduled to land in the Twin Cities until about 6:30 p.m. and, with the holiday traffic, Minnesota couldn't take any chances of being short a goaltender.

Deutsch's improbable shot at playing in an NHL game ended almost as quickly as it started, though. Hackett arrived at the arena just before the 7 p.m. game time and Deutsch was scratched.

Wearing a pair of former Wild goaltender Manny Fernandez's pads, Deutsch participated in pregame warmups.

''Pretty nervous and I just want to make sure I don't do anything stupid,'' Deutsch said. ''Stay out of their way and do what I'm supposed to do, give Harding a break when he needs one and let the guys fire away.''

Deutsch's signing was not as unlikely as it seems for someone who last played in a competitive league in 1978, when he was a junior varsity defenseman for Minneapolis Roosevelt High School.

He is a good friend of former Wild assistant coach Mike Ramsey and has been used as a fill-in goalie at Minnesota practices.

And because of NHL rules, the Wild wasn't allowed to sign a goaltender with professional experience. Deutsch's amateur tryout contract fit within the rules.

''It's very nervous,'' Deutsch said. ''Practice is one thing. I have to tell you the game faces are on. I don't see that very often with these guys. At practice it's calm, laughing and ha-has. Game day is different.''

Deutsch runs a screen printing and embroidery store in a St. Paul suburb and plays recreational hockey. He didn't even start playing goalie until he was 37.

''When you play senior men's hockey and there is no goalie, there is no game,'' Deutsch said. ''That's how I started. I was tired of coming into the room and saying 'Oh rats, there aren't two goalies.' Guys would literally go home. So I said, ''You know what, I'm going to play.''

Tagged: Wild

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt