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Wild sign 51-year-old goalie

Wednesday, 11.23.2011 / 6:40 PM / News

NHL.com

Paul Deutsch will enjoy a night to remember Wednesday.

Due to personal reasons, Niklas Backstrom, who was the scheduled starter for the Minnesota Wild's game against the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night, was away from the team.

The Wild recalled Matt Hackett from their AHL affiliate in Houston, and he quickly boarded a flight to the Twin Cities. But with no assurance that Hackett would make it on time to back up Josh Harding, the Wild signed Deutsch, a 51-year-old who runs a screen printing and embroidery store in Richfield, Minn., as their emergency goaltender. As per League rules, the Wild were forbidden from signing a goalie with professional experience, so Deutsch signed his ATO on Wednesday.

Deutsch, wearing No. 33, took park in the pregame warmup but was scratched when Hackett made it to the Xcel Energy Center just before game time.

Deutsch is a good friend and former high school teammate of former assistant coach Mike Ramsey, and has been used in many practices when one of the top goalies gets an off day.

Coincidentally, Deutsch was already going to be at the game Wednesday night as a fan, along with a youth hockey team he was accompanying. Now, those players are going to likely see him take warm-ups with the Wild.

Material from team media was used in this report.

I didn't think it would actually work, but it ended up working, so I'm thanking my lucky stars tonight.

— Columbus forward Nick Foligno on scoring the overtime goal after telling the Blue Jackets in the locker room that he would win the game