The Toledo Blade’s Mark Monroe penned a superb article profiling the Toledo Walleye’s emergency substitute goaltender, Kent Nusbaum:
When Toledo Walleye trainer Brad Fredrick walked into Jimmy John’s in Sylvania before a recent Sunday game, the last person he expected to make his sub was someone who has served as one of the team’s goaltenders.
Yet there was Kent Nusbaum, a 22-year-old fledgling netminder, standing behind the counter. The Temperance native has one of the most unusual part-time occupations in sports: emergency backup goaltender.
Nusbaum has become the Walleye’s go-to reserve player when a need arises. He has dressed several times for Toledo’s ECHL team — and its opponents — but has played in only one game.
“It’s unique,” Nusbaum said. “It’s exciting. I’d rather be doing something I love than working a normal job.”
But he is not a full-time member of the team. So to make ends meet while pursuing his dream of playing pro hockey, the 6-foot-6 and 180-pound Nusbaum also is sandwich-maker. And that was news to the team’s longtime trainer, Fredrick.
“Brad was shocked. He said, “Hey Baumer, what are you doing here?’ I said, ‘Just working my day job,’” Nusbaum said. “I made him a sandwich. I believe it was a No. 5.”
Every ECHL team has its own list of go-to substitute goalies who can be available at a moment’s notice. If the local team or its visiting opponent loses one of its two goalies to a sudden injury, illness, or transaction on game day, a substitute has to be available to sit on the bench in case he is needed.