This website is dedicated to the goaltenders who made it to the NHL but have been eluded by hockey statisticians and historians. Many of these goalies are one game emergency call ups but many were also members of their respective teams for weeks or even months. None, however, experienced any official playing time. They dressed with the team and sat on the bench ready to called upon at any second. Had they been given the nod for even a minute of play at any point during any game, they would have become an NHL veteran, forever in the player registry. I feel as though these goaltenders were NHL players to some capacity, were part of the team for at least one NHL game and thus deserve some kind of recognition.

160 NHL "backup only" goaltenders have been uncovered and documented here.

The author of this blog has a history degree and a passion for the game of hockey, goalies in particular.
If you have a goalie to add or more information on a goalie feel free to contact me.


2016/2017 Updates

New "Backup Only" Goalies: Michael GarteigLars JohanssonThatcher Demko, Matt HewittEric SemborskiBrandon HalversonBobby SeginAdam Wilcox, Adin HillJeff Glass and Ken Appleby.

Goalies who made their official NHL debuts: Antoine Bibeau, Jared Coreau, Anthony Stolarz, Aaron Dell, Zane McIntyre, Jorge Alves, Alex Nedeljkovic, Spencer Martin, Jeremy Smith, Marek Langhamer, Jon Gillies, Eric Comrie, Tristan Jarry and David Rittich. 

*Eric Semborski dressed as an emergency backup with both the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers during the 2016/17 season. He was put in net for the final 30 seconds of his game with the Flyers but referees cited an obscure rule, forcing him back to the bench. For an unknown reason, this same rule wasn't applied a few months earlier when the Carolina Hurricanes successfully put emergency backup Jorges Alves in net for the final frame of one of their NHL games.

*Adam Wilcox dressed as a backup with both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers during the 2016/17 season. 

*Sam Brittain dressed as a backup with the Florida Panthers (Jan. 7). Brittain had previously appeared in 6 NHL games as a backup with the Panthers in 2015.

*Daniel Altshuller dressed as a backup with the Carolina Hurricanes (Jan. 3). He had previously appeared as a backup 5 times with the 2015/16 Hurricanes.

*Zach Fucale dressed as a backup with the Montreal Canadiens (March 28). He had previously appeared as a backup 3 times with the 2015/16 Canadiens.

*Mike McKenna dressed as a backup for the Florida Panthers (Dec. 22), a team for whom he has never appeared in an official NHL contest. He also dressed as a backup for the team during the 2014/15 season.

*Jhonas Enroth dressed as a backup with the Anaheim Ducks, a team he has never dressed in an official NHL game with. 


  1. Eric Samborski may have the distinction of being the only one to dress as emergency backup for 2 different teams in the same season! Had the game w/ the Black Hawks earlier this year and is now dressed for the Flyers (wearing #49) after Michael Neuvirth collapsed early in tonight's (4/1/17) game vs. the Devils.

    1. And yet another interesting story for the blog. Rob Laurie actually recently appeared as an emergency for 2 different teams during the 2013/14 season.

  2. Flyers tried to put Semborski in for the last 24 seconds of the game, but the refs wouldn't allow it b/c there was no injury & Semborski was only the "emergency" backup. Would have been a 3-way shared shutout had they allowed him to play.

    1. The most curious aspect about this story is that the Carolina Hurricanes were allowed to do this with Jorges Alves. https://www.nhl.com/hurricanes/news/jorge-alves-lives-out-nhl-dream-as-goaltender-for-carolina-hurricanes/c-285235426 Victim of a Killjoy ref?