Sports Outside the Beltway

Washington Capitals sign team’s Web site producer as backup goalie

When are the Miami Dolphins going to give a chance to be their punter. From AP-

A 6-foot-7 Web site producer for the Washington Capitals prepared to dress as the team’s backup goalie for Friday night’s game against the Ottawa Senators because of an injury to Jose Theodore.

Brett Leonhardt, who played Division III hockey in college, signed an amateur tryout contract before the game. If he were to actually get on the ice, he would tie the record for tallest goalie ever to play in an NHL game.

Theodore suffered a hip flexor injury during the Capitals’ morning skate, and Simeon Varlamov was recalled from Hershey, the team’s AHL affiliate, to back up starter Brent Johnson.

But Hershey happened to be on the road in San Antonio, and Varlamov’s plane wasn’t expected to land in the Washington area until close to the 7 p.m. game time.

So the Capitals received special dispensation from the league to dress three goaltenders. Varlamov was to take Leonhardt’s spot on the bench upon arrival.

Leonhardt’s chances of playing weren’t exactly remote. Johnson has a sore hip from a fall during Wednesday night’s victory over the Boston Bruins.

Leonhardt, 26, played two years for Oswego State in New York and two years for Neumann College in Pennsylvania. He has worked for the Capitals’ Web site for about a year and has taken part in drills during practices when the team needed an extra goalie.

Dreams come true. Theodore isn’t that good, maybe Leonhardt can battle him for a job. Getting to be a backup for one night is a miracle in itself.

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