At 6-foot-7, the Caps’ Web developer, nicknamed “Stretch” has occasionally dressed for practice, but nothing prepared him for a visit from the team’s general manager Friday afternoon. With backup goalie Simeon Varlamov on a delayed flight, chances became pretty good Leonhardt would be trading the Web for a net.
“Around 3:30 p.m., it was 100 percent that the goalie was not going to show up,” he 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 game minutes on the bench.
His story was picked up by the Associated Press and has rapidly made its rounds on the Web.
Leonhardt is happy to stay with his current desk 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,” Leonhardt said.
PHOTO CAPTION: Night Cap—Former Laker and current Washington Capitals Web developer Brett Leonhardt was called up for the opportunity of a lifetime when he became an NHL goalie for 10 minutes of Friday’s game. Here he warms up with Caps star Alex Ovechkin. (Photo courtesy of Ron Weinstock)
(Posted: Dec 15, 2008)