What happens when a backup goalie gets injured during the morning skate, your top AHL goalie can’t arrive at the rink for gametime, and you need someone to backup your starter just in case? Well, you sign a vending machine worker to an amateur tryout contract, in the case of the St. Louis Blues last night.
Tyler Stewart watches every #stlblues game from Section 313 as a season ticket holder, but on Thursday, he got to see the game from a whole new perspective.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) December 8, 2017
Tyler Stewart, a 25 year old season ticket holder, grad student and former club hockey player at Saint Louis University got the call after Carter Hutton got hurt during the pregame skate and until Ville Husso arrived with five minutes to go in the first period from San Antonio, he was the Blues backup.
“It was like a dream come true, obviously,” Stewart said. “Getting to hear [Coach Mike] Yeo’s pregame speech was something.”
He took a few shots during pregame warmups, talked with a few of the players and got the experience of a lifetime. But, there’s every chance this can happen again. Every team has an emergency backup on call in the arena just in case disaster happens (like this disaster), and Stewart is that designated call. He carries around his goalie equipment in his wife’s car just in case a situation like this comes up.
“It’s crazy how loose they are,” he added. “You would think they’d be tight a little, but they’re joking around like you wouldn’t even think they’re playing a hockey game. It’s a cool environment, nothing like I’d ever experienced before.
“I sat next to Tarasenko. He was awesome. Him and [Vladimir] Sobotka were asking me how to spell scissors because they were confused about the spelling. They were saying it as Caesar, like Caesar salad. It was pretty funny. They just talked to me like I was one of the guys. It was pretty cool.”
Not bad for a grad student who works as a vending machine worker from 9 to 5.
“It’s something I’ll never forget,” he said. “This was my Christmas present.”