Ducks start game with ex-roller hockey goalie as backup
Rob Laurie, a 43-year-old former roller-hockey goaltender, was the backup goaltender for the Anaheim Ducks when they took the ice against the Dallas Stars on Friday night.
With Jonas Hiller sidelined due to illness, the Ducks recalled Igor Bobkov under emergency conditions from their American Hockey League affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, and hoped he would arrive by game time.
In case he didn't, they called Laurie.
"I saw [the phone call] was from [Ducks Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations] David McNab and thought I better make the call back," Laurie said during an interview with Fox Sports West during the first intermission. "He said, 'What are you doing tonight?' He asked if I was available to come down, and I figured I'd make it work."
Laurie signed a professional tryout contract, took warmups while wearing No. 43 and started the game on the Ducks' bench. He spent the first 3:53 backing up Viktor Fasth before Bobkov arrived to take his place.
"I don't know what my signing bonus is," he joked. "I think it's the hat I got."
Laurie, who played college hockey at Western Michigan and spent 10 years in the minors from 1992-2002, was a member of the Anaheim Bullfrogs of the Roller Hockey International League from 1993-99. He was the starting goaltender for the Bullfrogs on July 2, 1993, when Anaheim defeated the Utah RollerBees 12-4 in the first professional sporting event at what is now Honda Center.
"It was big-time deja vu," he said of taking the Honda Center ice for warmups. "Roller hockey ended in the late '90s, and I haven't really been here since, other than watching games. It was a lot of fun to be out there."