The Chicago Blackhawks will be without starting goaltender Corey Crawford on Saturday afternoon against the Philadelphia Flyers due to an illness. That means his backup, Scott Darling, will get the start in goal. Nothing really out of the ordinary here until you realize somebody has to serve as the backup for Darling.
With Crawford unavailable, and a 1 p.m. ET puck drop preventing the team from making a call up from the American Hockey League, the team needed to scramble to find another goalie.
To fill that vacancy the team announced less than an hour before the start of their game that it has signed Eric Semborski to an amateur tryout contract to serve as Darling’s backup for the day.
If that name does not register with you, it is understandable.
According to the Blackhawks the 23-year-old Semborski “played club hockey with Temple University and for the Empire Junior Hockey League’s Jersey Wildcats.”
He has no professional hockey experience.
Every year you see a handful of situations like this when a team needs a goaltender at the last minute. It is usually a former college player or a team’s junior prospect that is closer to the team at that moment than the minor league team is. It is sure to be an amazing experience for Semborski to get to spend a day in an NHL uniform and take in the game from the bench.
The Blackhawks, on the other hand, are probably hoping nothing happens to Darling over the next two-and-a-half hours.