That’s how the announcement begins, in which the Los Angeles Kings seek a “qualified amateur” to be their emergency goaltender at home games. Each team is required to have such a goalie on hand in their own building, and the Minnesota Wild, Florida Panthers, and New Jersey Devils have held open tryouts for the position without disaster unfolding. We saw Jonathan Quick, Jeff Zatkoff, and Jack Campbell suffer injuries last season, stretching the netminders pretty dang thin. So even if the Kings have their deepest goaltending pipeline in years, why not give a random goalie a shot to fill this particular void?
As shown above, tryouts are being held on September 27 at the Kings’ practice facility. Only 30 players will be selected for the official tryout, and yes, you need to have played high-level amateur hockey to make the cut. (I was hoping some skating lessons and an injury-plagued experience as an intramural soccer goalie would count, but no dice.)
At the very least, if you try out for this and face some NHL-quality shooting, you’ll never get angry at Zatkoff, or Jason LaBarbera, or Dan Cloutier, ever again. And though most of these situations have seen goalies play through injury rather than allowing the emergency backup to enter, never say never.