Former Oswego goalie Brett Leonhardt was living his daydream when he was called from his cubicle to suit up for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League.
The Caps' 6-foot-7 Web developer -- nicknamed "Stretch" -- has occasionally dressed for practice, but nothing prepared him for a visit from the team's general manager the afternoon of Dec. 12. With backup goalie Simeon Varlamov on a delayed flight, chances became pretty good Leonhardt might be trading the Web for a net that night.
"Around 3:30 p.m., it was 100 percent that the goalie was not going to show up," Leonhardt said.
Leonhardt got to live out a dream as he dressed as the Caps' backup goalie for their game against the Ottawa Senators. He participated in the pregame warm-up and was in uniform for half of the first period.
"It was amazing to look down and see the NHL jersey on and to see players such as [Sergei] Federov on the ice," said Leonhardt, recalling his 10 minutes on the bench.
Leonhardt is happy to stay with his current position with the Caps, which he's had for about a year, but said the game brought him back to his college days goaltending at SUNY Oswego and Neuman College.
"Stepping out on the ice with the sound of the crowd, you get back into your regular stretching and warm-up routine," said Leonhardt, who played with the Lakers during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons.
-- Ashley White '10
Former Laker and current Washington Capitals Web developer Brett Leonhardt got to live out his dream as an NHL goalie -- for 10 minutes -- in December. Above, he warms up with Caps star Alex Ovechkin. (Photo courtesy of Ron Weinberg)
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