The Toronto Maple Leafs may have an amateur goaltender in their lineup this evening.
According to a breaking news report from National Hockey League insider Chris Johnston, salary cap troubles have put the Maple Leafs in something of an awkward situation. Johnston reports that the Maple Leafs currently lack the cap space to call up a goaltender to replace the injured Petr Mrazek. Mrazek left a game against Ottawa earlier this week due to a groin injury, and the Leafs will now be forced to sign a goalie to an "amateur tryout" in order to have a backup for Jack Campbell this evening.
That goaltender, again according to Johnston, will be Alex Bishop who currently is playing for the University of Toronto.
Bishop has performed well in recent years at the University of Toronto. His last season saw him record a 2.41 goals against average and a .922 save percentage over 24 games, and the year before that he had a 2,35 goals against average and a .917 save percentage over 22 games played. That being said we are talking about a level of hockey that is simply not commensurate to what you are going to see at the NHL level, which is why at 24 years old Bishop is currently not under contract with any team in the league.
This scenario is far from ideal for the Leafs but I can't help but smile a little at what the news for Bishop is going to be like today. The young man is a native of Richmond Hill, Ontario, and no doubt having the opportunity to sit on the bench with the Maple Leafs for one night is going to be something of a dream come true. Not to mention, what in the world is going to happen if Jack Campbell gets injured or has to leave the game for any reason and Bishop is actually required to come into the game?
The good news is this sounds like it will only be a short term problem for the Leafs. If they play a man short tonight they will be able to make an emergency call up for Monday's game, a call up that Johnston expects will be goaltender Michael Hutchinson.