New York Rangers’ Emergency Backup Goalie Wears Greatest Jersey Of All Time
For the 1965-66 season, the NHL instituted the following rule for how many goalies a team must dress for each game:
5.3 Goalkeeper Each team shall have on its bench, or on a chair immediately beside the bench, a substitute goalkeeper who shall, at all times, be fully dressed and equipped ready to play. Except when both goalkeepers are incapacitated, no skater in the playing roster in that game shall be permitted to wear the equipment.
In regular League and Playoff games, if both listed goalkeepers are incapacitated, that team shall be entitled to dress and play any available goalkeeper who is eligible. This goalkeeper is eligible to sit on the player’s bench, in uniform. In the event that the two regular goalkeepers are injured or incapacitated in quick succession, the third goalkeeper shall be provided with a reasonable amount of time to get dressed, in addition to a two-minute warm-up (except when he enters the game to defend against a penalty shot).
If, however, the third goalkeeper is dressed and on the bench when the second goalkeeper becomes incapacitated, the third goalkeeper shall enter the game immediately and no warm-up is permitted.
As a result, teams have dressed goalie coaches, vending machine working, maintenance men, and more. While most of these guys just suit up and hang out in the locker room, in 2015 the Panthers got famously close to sending goaltending coach Robb Tallas onto the ice after Roberto Luongo and backup Al Montoya both suffered injuries.