Part of the legend and lore of the sport of hockey are the stories of the unsung heroes that are emergency backup goalies. Every NHL team is required to have one — basically an average Joe rec-league player from around town who fills in as a last-minute third-string goalie — to answer the call of duty when everyone ahead of him gets hurt. He’s like a Rudy on ice skates. Think of it: one second you’re living a miserably boring life, and then you get a call to drive to the arena, lace up the skates, and be a glorified benchwarmer for the team’s second-string goalie. Unreal. Google “emergency backup goaltender” for some crazy stories of random dudes who almost played in NHL games.
As a passionate New Jersey Devils fan, I typically frown upon things our rivals from across the Hudson River, The New York Rangers, do. But even my inner David Puddy can appreciate this.
Great choice of number there, Rangers. The squares at FOX News might not get the joke, but I appreciate it. The Rangers’ equipment manager is definitely a Rob Gronkowski fan. If Rob Gronkowski pulled a Tim Tebow and decides to switch sports from football to hockey, this is what he’d wear, except it’d say “McGronk.”
Not only is the number classic, but peep that name: “McBackup.” Sounds like a character from the forgotten, hockey-centered, Canadian remake of Superbad. Not only is he old enough to party, but possibly to stop a Sidney Crosby slap shot.
More likely than not, McBackup will never win a Stanley Cup or even play in an NHL game. That won’t stop the majestic number 69 from going into the rafters at Madison Square Garden after McBackup wins the Hart Trophy for MVP, though. Dude deserves it.
Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen was number one, but McBackup will always be number 69..
Image via Twitter/@akaiser