With six losses in their past seven games, the Arizona Coyotes have fallen out of the Pacific Division playoff race and they’ll be lucky if they can get back into a wild-card spot before the post-season begins. With that in mind, it might be hard to believe the Coyotes’ situation of late could get much worse, but it did Monday night.
Before the Coyotes contest against the Montreal Canadiens, goaltender Anders Lindback, who was scheduled to backup Arizona rookie Louis Domingue, was injured in an off-ice accident. There was no immediate update on Lindback, but he was ruled out of Monday’s game, leaving the Coyotes scrambling for a backup netminder.
But without someone at the ready, the Coyotes had to turn to Nathan Schoenfeld, a men’s league goaltender and the son of New York Rangers assistant GM and former Coyotes coach Jim Schoenfeld.
In order to get him into the lineup, Schoenfeld had to be inked to an amateur tryout contract, which AZ Central’s Sarah McLellan reported Schoenfeld signed just before the game-opening faceoff. He’s not entirely a stranger to putting on a Coyotes jersey, however. He has previously participated with the Coyotes alumni team, though he’s never seen the ice in a professional game.
In fact, according to AZ Sports’ Craig Morgan, Schoenfeld doesn’t have much experience beyond playing a bit of club hockey at Arizona State University. Morgan reported that, per an NHL rule, the Coyotes had previously designated Schoenfeld as their backup goalie for situations such as this.
Per the NHL, Schoenfeld is eligible to play in the contest thanks to Rule 5.3: “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…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.”