Panthers suit up goaltending coach Rob Tallas against Hurricanes

By Brian Stubits |

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If you think your favorite team's goaltending depth is thin, just remember it could be better than the Florida Panthers on Sunday.

A series of unfortunate events left the Panthers with no other option but to sign 39-year-old Rob Tallas to a one-day contract to serve as the emergency goalie. It wasn't tough to find Tallas for the game; he's the Panthers' goaltending coach.

The reason they were so thin? On Saturday, Jose Theodore was injured at Carolina, reportedly tearing his groin. As a result, the Panthers recalled Jacob Markstrom from AHL San Antonio. While Markstrom made it to Florida in time for the game, his equipment didn't. It was lost with all the other misplaced luggage at United Airlines, leaving the Panthers in a pinch.

That's when they had to turn to Tallas, who took to the ice for warmups in his new jersey, Roberto Luongo's old No. 1 jersey.

Tallas played 99 games in his NHL career, most recently in 2000-01 with the Chicago Blackhawks. He posted a career save percentage of .891 with the Hawks and Boston Bruins. So for those keeping score at home, that's 12 years in between games wearing a team sweater and gear for Tallas.

Markstrom's equipment arrived late in the first period, and he was on the bench to serve as the backup. But if new No. 1 Scott Clemmensen had been injured before then, it would have been up to Tallas to man the Panthers' net. That would have been a sight to see.

The last time that we saw something this desperate from an NHL team was last season, when the Minnesota Wild signed 51-year-old Paul Deutsch for one game.

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