Coyotes Sign Bank Manager as Emergency Goalie After Backup Injured Before Game

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2016

Arizona Coyotes backup goalie Nathan Schoenfeld, left, signed to the team only hours prior to the game due to an injury to goalie Anders Lindback, sits next to Shane Doan during the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. The Coyotes defeated the Canadiens 6-2. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Nathan Schoenfeld, 31, thought he had Monday off because of Presidents Day, but he got called in to work at the last minute.

No, not for his job at the bank. For an NHL game.

According to Sarah McLellan of, Schoenfeld was at home giving his kids a bath when he got a text around 6 p.m. from his father-in-law, Stan Wilson, who just happens to be the head equipment manager of the Arizona Coyotes.

Wilson was hitting up Schoenfeld to let him know that Arizona backup goalie Anders Lindback suffered an injury before the Coyotes' game against the Montreal Canadiens and that the team needed the bank manager—who has worked with the club in the past—to serve as its emergency goalie.

Seizing the opportunity, Schoenfeld got to the arena in about 30 minutes and signed an amateur tryout agreement so he could dress for the game.

Just like that, he was an NHL goalie.

Schoenfeld, of course, wanted to let his dad—who once coached the Coyotes and is now an assistant manager with the New York Rangers—know about his new job. He also wanted to let his father know who his scouts should keep an eye on should they be at the game.

“I said, ‘Well if you do, let them know to check out the backup goaltender tonight,’” Schoenfeld said, per McLellan. “So he got a kick out of the call.”

Back in the day, Schoenfeld was a goalie on Arizona State's club team. He is, however, a decade removed from his last competitive game, so he may not be too sharp between the pipes. He was at least comfortable enough to serve as the team's emergency goalie and hit the ice if needed.

“I don’t think I’m game-ready but ready in case they need me to sit on the bench,” Schoenfeld said, per McLellan.

After signing his contract, Schoenfeld put on his No. 40 jersey and a black Coyotes hat before skating onto the ice with the team before the game. Then he was off to the bench.

The former college goalie never did enter the game. Arizona netminder Louis Domingue stayed healthy and led his team to a 6-2 victory over the Canadiens, making 17 saves in the game.

Just because he didn't see any time on the ice doesn't mean the team didn't appreciate his helping out in a pinch, however. Schoenfeld received the game belt from the Coyotes.

Arizona is not sure what the extent of Lindback's injury is, but it does believe it is not just a day-to-day thing. Should the team need a long-term backup goalie, it will bring in someone who is more prepared to play when needed. But even if Schoenfeld doesn't dress again for the Coyotes, he can at least say he got to live the dream of being an NHL player.

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