For anyone who has ever wanted to play on an NHL team, the Florida Panthers are hiring a goalie.
The Panthers aren't exactly guaranteeing a roster spot—the team is hosting tryouts for a fan to be a back-up practice goalie for a day, turning its bad luck of losing goaltenders Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya to injuries into a legitimate contest. As part of the “Goal of a Lifetime” competition, the Panthers are looking for an experienced male or female goalie, according to the team’s news release.
“We look forward to welcoming goaltenders from across South Florida to this open tryout,” said goaltending coach Robb Tallas. “It promises to be a once in a lifetime experience for the goaltender who is selected to serve as our team’s back-up practice goalie for a day.”
The Panthers want prospective goalies to submit a playing resume. The team doesn’t elaborate what sort of experience it’s looking for, so beer league goalies, feel free to apply. After the on-ice tryout on March 16, two finalists will participate in a shootout against former Panthers players on March 17 during the first intermission of Florida's game against the Canadiens with the winner capturing the overall contest.
Florida called up Dan Ellis from its AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, and Sam Brittain from the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones on Wednesday. With Luongo out for two games, Montoya out for two weeks and the Rampage in the middle of their own playoff push, maybe a fan contest isn’t the worst way to find goaltending depth.
-- Anna Gallegos