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Wild sign 51-year-old goalie for Wednesday game

Posted on: November 23, 2011 7:24 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2011 9:52 pm
 

By Brian Stubits

The Minnesota Wild found themselves in a pinch on Wednesday afternoon when it came down that starting goaltender Niklas Backstrom wouldn't be in attendance. Most teams would just call up a goalie from the AHL to serve as the backup.

Minnesota did exactly what most teams would do, and they called to Houston to bring up Matt Hackett to be the backup to Joshua Harding on Wednesday. The only problem? Hackett didn't even get into the Minneapolis airport until a half hour before the game. That's not entirely helpful with the pregame skate or any situation where Harding would go down.

That's where the pinch comes in. As a result, they turned to the beer leagues and signed 51-year-old Paul Deutsch to dress for Wednesday’s game against the Predators. Here is the full story of the signing from Michael Russo at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, complete with quotes like this:

“I actually was shaking while I was signing [the contract],” said Deutsch, who filled in “Minnesota Roosevelt Junior Varsity defenseman -- 1978,” as his previous team on the contract.

Unfortunately for those hoping for the underdog story, Hackett did make it to the arena just in time, meaning Deutsch was a scratch.

The Wild aren't complete stranger with Deutsch. He has been brought in to help the team in a tight situation before, serving as a goaltender in practices for the Wild. This time it will be in front of a little bigger crowd.

If he would have had the chance to play, he might have signed another contract by the end of the night: one for a movie. Deutsch is a screen printer for his day job. But making the story even more incredible? Deutsch didn't start playing goalie until he was 37 years old.

“When you play senior men’s hockey and you show up to the rink and there is no goalie, there is no game,” Deutsch said. “So that’s how I started playing. I was tired of coming, walking into the room and, ‘Oh rats.’”

The funny part is that Deutsch already planned to go to XCel Energy Center for the game anyway, just as a fan with a youth hockey team. Well, he'll come away with a pretty good souvenir.

Here is a story the Wild ran on their website from before profiling Deutsch.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Comments

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: November 23, 2011 10:27 pm
 

Wild sign 51-year-old goalie for Wednesday game

This story gives me hope that I still have a one in a billion shot lol.  Good for this guy, he looks really good out there for 51.



Since: Nov 1, 2011
Posted on: November 23, 2011 10:12 pm
 

Wild sign 51-year-old goalie for Wednesday game

With all the ugly stories in sports right now this is a great to hear. Way to go, if nothing else you have one hell of a story for the grand kids.



Since: Jan 10, 2008
Posted on: November 23, 2011 9:32 pm
 

Wild sign 51-year-old goalie for Wednesday game

"XL Center"? Way to do your research..



Since: Oct 6, 2010
Posted on: November 23, 2011 9:27 pm
 

Wild sign 51-year-old goalie for Wednesday game

wow awesome. it doesnt matter how old you are to play sports i guess. you just need advice from coach herman edwards. "dont be afraid of it, be a man go put your name on it. you play to win the game and when you start telling me it doesnt matter then retire get out.



Since: Mar 30, 2009
Posted on: November 23, 2011 9:05 pm
 

Wild sign 51-year-old goalie for Wednesday game

Hey apnsb, you're the tool teacher that is right now the first name on the next school shooter's list.



Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: November 23, 2011 9:03 pm
 

Wild sign 51-year-old goalie for Wednesday game

You can't add anything to that....Great Story, Great Story.



Since: Oct 6, 2009
Posted on: November 23, 2011 8:42 pm
 

Wild sign 51-year-old goalie for Wednesday game

Too bad Deutsch didn't get into the game, that would have made the story even better.  The fact that he has helped in practices for the Wild before shows that he at least has an understanding of the position.  Great story overall...



Since: Feb 22, 2011
Posted on: November 23, 2011 8:29 pm
 

Wild sign 51-year-old goalie for Wednesday game

It's not should of; it's should've or should have.  Learn English, dumbass!



Since: Apr 4, 2011
Posted on: November 23, 2011 7:31 pm
 

Wild sign 51-year-old goalie for Wednesday game

awesome. they should of gave me a call. i could of busted out my old pads. ha



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com