DETROIT – Prior to yesterday, Troy Passingham’s hockey future boiled down to choosing between Carleton and Acadia for next season. But for one fleeting moment, he got to soak up the NHL life and everything that comes with it.
The 20-year-old goaltender, who played as an overager with the Ontario League’s Sarnia Sting and Windsor Spitfires this season, signed a 24-hour professional tryout contract with the Detroit Red Wings and, depending upon the status of Chris Osgood, could be Jimmy Howard’s back-up Wednesday night when the Red Wings host the Vancouver Canucks.
He was unwinding after a grueling year in the OHL at his girlfriend’s place in Windsor, Ont., when he got an emergency call from the Red Wings. It would be unnatural for him not to dream about Howard going down in the warmup and turning in a 40-save shutout, but he is realistic about the whole thing.
After all, there’s a chance he might not even dress for the Red Wings. Osgood’s status was unclear after the morning skate for two reasons: he is coming off sports hernia surgery and his wife is expecting the couple’s fourth child at any time.
“I’m still chasing the dream,” said the 6-foot-4, 223-pound native of Mississauga, Ont. “I’m still playing hockey and I’m a young guy. I’m 20 years old and I’ll take it as far as I can.”
Passingham won a Memorial Cup with the Spitfires last season and won 35 games as the starter, but lost his job when the team acquired Philipp Grubauer from the Belleville Bulls at the trade deadline. And when Dallas Stars first round pick and U.S. world junior hero Jack Campbell signed with the Spitfires this season, Passingham played just 17 games for the Spitfires before being dealt to the Sarnia Sting. He was available to the Wings because his season ended last weekend after the Sting failed to make the playoffs.