Teenage pop star Justin Bieber has been offered a contract by the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL.
"Yes, we would play him if he was up for it," coach Matt O'Dette told NHL.com. "I have seen video on him and he does have some hockey skills."
According to the team's website, "The Bakersfield Condors and Head Coach/Director of Hockey Operations Matt O’Dette announced [Tuesday] that they have offered hit-recording artist/RW Justin Bieber an amateur tryout contract for the upcoming 2012-13 season."
Justin Bieber holds the Stanley Cup prior to performing on NBC's 'Today' show on June 4, 2010 in New York City. (Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
Bieber, 18 years old, is described as having "soft hands, a good skating stride, and a devastating wrist shot capable of beating NHL caliber goaltenders."
"He appears to be strong in shootouts as well," the team's website says.
"I would compare him to Mike Ribeiro, formerly of the Dallas Stars, whom I played with back in the AHL with Quebec," O'Dette told NHL.com. "And Mike Ribeiro was a pretty good dancer, if I remember correctly."
"Very rarely do you see this combination of skill and toughness," O'Dette said on the team's website. "We share a common Canadian heritage since we both hail from Ontario. I’ve scouted some video of him online skating with my hometown team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and I think he could provide some elusive speed up front for us. Plus, he’s a right-handed shot which we’ve been looking to add. I think if we paired him on a line with (Robby) Dee and (Peter) Boyd, we’d be tough to beat."
Bieber's upcoming tour will be in nearby Fresno, Calif., on Oct. 5.
"So he could swing by for a tryout. And we'd be happy to have him," general manager Matthew Riley told NHL.com.
Bieber, whose musical hits include "Baby" and "Boyfriend," has almost 28 million followers on Twitter. A Best New Artist nominee at the 2011 Grammy Awards, he is ranked as the world's third most powerful celebrity by Forbes, trailing only Jennifer Lopez and Oprah Winfrey.
"Plus, his sick flow will fit right in with a Condors team known for their style," the website says.