Gavin McHale finished recording the training of the women's hockey team Manitoba Bisons on Wednesday when he noticed that he had a number of missed calls on the phone.
McHale, 31, is currently coach for national champion Bison. But he was yet to become a goalkeeper of the NHL, at least one night.
These missed calls were from Craig Heisinger, GM's assistant with Vinnipeg Jets.
Visiting Vashington Capitals needed an emergency assistant after Breden Holtby was ripped off at the last minute with the body's top injuries.
"I came here as fast as I could, I told everyone I knew. It was around 5:15 PM and I came from the southern end," McHale said. "He had to fight with a bit of traffic. I was weaving and going out. I did not have dinner."
Captains signed McHale to amateur contract, after entering the arena, trained.
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McHale played two seasons for Herde's men's team from 2008-2010. He also scored three seasons in the Western Hockey League for Seattle Thunderbirds and Lethbridge Hurricanes.
"I think every person in this room presented me, so I just made me feel much more peaceful," said McHale. "They just let me do my thing. I just made me feel really welcome."
According to his at Eliteprospects.com, McHale's last taste of competitive action came in 2015 when he played for Varren Mercs from the Hockey League of Southeast Manitoba.
So imagine that you take ice for warming up and shooting from Stanley Cup defense champions, including the sniper rocket Alek Ovechkin.
"I was hoping that nobody saw it, it was a beautiful star, and then I accelerated for the next three or four years, until I got in. It definitely is not something I thought would happen, it was a pretty exciting experience."
McHale also played for Portage Terriers Manitoba Junior Hockey League and AAA Midget Winnipeg Thrashers.
The NHL introduced a new rule last season and demanded that all home teams have an emergency goalkeeper in the building in case of injury. McHale was also invited to a backup action for Colorado in February, but only in the last period.
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He could not keep the jersey from that night, but I hope this time will be different.
"If I can keep her, it's really fast-framed," McHale said. "There are also a few packs on it."
McHale understands that his role as a backup backup usually means that you sit in a print box just in case, get a meal and go home without any excitement.
It also means that it faces its gender team. So he's Jets fan?
"I'm not free to say that," said McHale with a smile.
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