Sunday, March 3, 2013

Florida Panthers have their goaltending coach in uniform

It's been quite a while since we've seen a player/coach in any sport. Today that came to an end.

With a little misfortune the Florida Panthers had no choice but to suit up their goaltending coach, Rob Tallas.

How did this happen? On Saturday, Jose Theodore tore his groin against the Carolina Hurricanes. So the next option was to call up minor league netminder, Jacob Markstrom, from their San Antonio affiliate. Problem solved. Not so fast. Markstrom made it to Florida for the game but his equipment didn't. It was lost with the other luggage at United Airlines. So that left Tallas as their lone option as the back up to Scott Clemmensen. So they signed the 39 year old coach to a one day contract until Markstrom's equipment arrived.

Tallas played 99 games in his NHL career, most recently in 2000-01 with the Chicago Blackhawks. He posted a career save percentage of .891 with the Hawks and Boston Bruins compiling a 28-42-10 record. So for those keeping score at home, that's 12 years in between games wearing a team sweater and gear for Tallas. (

Good thing that he didn't have to hit the ice. It might've turned out bad for the Panthers but good for anyone intrigued by seeing a coach actually playing and knocking off some rust in the process.

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