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Stanley Cup Final

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.

Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild