NHL Governors Realize Emergency Goalie Rule Is Kinda Cool
If any pro sport manages to keep a bit of an edge while still having fun, it's the NHL.
Who else would ever have a rule where an everyman might live out his fantasy in the real world?
Among other things -- besides not having to pay an extra NHL-grade salary -- that's why the Board of Governors found the Emergency Backup Goalie rule (EBUG) to be a practical solution to an occasional problem.
The latest such Walter Mitty moment came in spectacular fashion when both Carolina Hurricane goalies were knocked outta action in Toronto. Enter erstwhile Zamboni driver David Ayres, who saved the few shots -- eight straight after the first two found nylon -- a stepped-up 'Cane defense allowed to do his bit for a Carolina victory.
The afterglow was an extension of living the dream:
Then it was on to a hero's welcome in Raleigh, where the governor of North Carolina declared it David Ayres Day:
A sampling from the first two days of the Dave Ayres Media Tour. pic.twitter.com/sLrlUrOrzY— Hurricanes PR (@CanesPR) February 24, 2020
After that, the 'Canes promptly put him to work:
How much fun is that? Not to warm-&-fuzzy PR for the league.
So why would the Board of Governors even consider getting all stuffy-&-formal by proposing a third goaltender be rostered because amateurs between the pipes could be considered a mockery to the game?
But damned if the OGs didn't discuss it at their March meetings.
Fortunately, sanity prevailed.
Rule 5.3 explains how Dwayne Roloson would be permitted to play for ANA should he be needed as emergency 3rd goalie. pic.twitter.com/WJPRUMHPuH— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November 3, 2014
There have been 6000 games played since the 2015 Panthers incident ...
- EBUGs have had to dress only twice;
- There's a logical qualification process in place to become an EBUG; and
- Willing amatuers from all walks of life have stood ready to answer the call.
Fortunately, not the NHL's Board of Governors.