NHL Team Signs 51-Year-Old Goalie
Fortunately, Jim Deutsch did not have to play
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2011 7:50 PM CST
Minnesota Wild emergency backup goalie, 51-year-old Paul Deutsch, right, visits with Nashville Predators goalie Anders Lindback, of Sweden, during warmups Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

(Newser) – The NHL's Minnesota Wild signed an emergency goalie today, which is news only because the guy is 51 years old and owns an embroidery store. As it turns out, Jim Deutsch won't have to suit up for an NHL game, but he came thisclose, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The team got in a pickle when it found out usual starter Nik Backstrom couldn't play in tonight's game. Backup Josh Harding got the nod, and the team called up a minor league goalie to back up Harding. Problem: It wasn't a sure thing that the minor league goalie's plane would arrive in time.

The team turned to Deutsch, who plays beer-league hockey and is a buddy of former Wild assistant coach Mike Ramsey, notes the Pioneer Press. (He had occasionally filled in for injured goalies during team practices.) He signed a nonpaying contract to be an amateur tryout— "I actually was shaking while I was signing it, and it was pretty cool," he says—and soon after took the ice for pregame warmups. His daughter's youth team cheered him on as Minnesota players fired away on him. After warmups, the minor league goalie's plane arrived, and Deutsch's NHL career ended.