Meet the Toledo Walleye’s emergency substitute goaltender

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.


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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.