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NHL GMs see no need to change emergency goalie procedure

David Ayres

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 22: Emergency backup goaltender Dave Ayres #90 of the Carolina Hurricanes takes the ice against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period at the Scotiabank Arena on February 22, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

The current emergency goaltender procedures that NHL teams use will not be tweaked. That’s the takeaway from Monday’s general managers meetings in Boca Raton, Florida.

“There was lot of discussions,” said NHL senior executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell via “Most important from it is where we’re at and I think it worked.”

It’s been a little over a week since David Ayres took hockey to the mainstream with his performance for the Hurricanes in a win. After both James Reimer and Petr Mrazek were injured, the 42-year-old Maple Leafs’ sometime practice goalie stepped in and stopped eight of 10 shots faced. The feel-good story took Ayres on a busy media tour the next 48 hours. The entire situation prompted discussion about whether the way teams go about choosing their EBUGs should be revamped.

But after discussions, consensus was that the current protocol should stay. Only Ayres and Scott Foster of the Blackhawks have been EBUGs to get into games and play for an extended period of time over the last few years. (Hurricanes equipment manager Jorge Alves played the final 7.6 seconds of a 2016 game.)

Ayres earned the NHL a lot of positive attention in the days following and considering how few times an EBUG has actually had to play, the GMs felt there was no need for change.

“A lot to do about nothing, but it turned into a good human interest story,” Campbell said.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.