According to a report from NHL insider Frank Seravalli, some NHL general managers have effectively petitioned the league to allow their teams to carry an additional goaltender on the active roster, increasing the amount from just two to three.
I've been saying for years that the NHL should adopt a three goalie policy anyways. The emergency backup goalie policy that the NHL currently employs is simply not up to professional standards. I mean... what other top sports league would have private citizens standing by in case of emergency? It's all very "bush league" when you think about it.
The fact of the matter is that teams can make excellent use of an additional goalie on their roster, even if it's just for practices. Imagine a workhorse like Carey Price, Andrei Vasilevsky, Connor Helleybuck, Jordan Binnington or Marc Andre Fleury getting extra days off at practice and the team not missing a beat because they have another NHL calibre goaltender to fill in at practice. It's a literal game changer for coaches around the league and it means 32 more NHL jobs for NHL/AHL calibre goalies out there.
But I will say that as much as this idea makes sense, I personally weep for the fact that it likely means we'll never have a David Ayres or Scott Foster situation ever again. When Foster shut out the Winnipeg Jets in mop up duty for the Chicago Blackhawks a few seasons ago it was an historic moment. And as for Ayres and his 15 minutes of game with the Carolina Hurricanes... it was literally the stuff of legend. He, of course, beat his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto after allowing just two goals on eight shots. Sure, he didn't paint a Picasso that evening, but he got the victory for his team and he performed admirably in a situation that I think might give most of us a legitimate panic attack. Put short, the man is an everyday hero and it's a damn shame that we'll likely never get to see another story like his play out in the NHL ever again. But then again... maybe that makes Ayres and his accomplishment even more special?