December 14, 2006

A minor league goalie scores 5 goals already this season

Not exactly your normal story about a legend of hockey, but I found this story from the Florida Times-Union quite fascinating.

Puck stopper Tyrone Garner played 3 games in the NHL with the Calgary Flames. The former Oshawa Generals goaltender was once a decent prospect, drafted 83rd overall in 1996. He was employed in the Florida Panthers organization for some time before realizing the NHL was a distant dream gone by, and he jumped to Europe in 2003.

Last season, in Norway, Garner suffered a horrible groin injury, ripping the muscles right from the bone. Due to the nature of the injury, doctors told Garner under no circumstances was he allowed to perform as a goaltender for at least one callendar year, and then his injury would be reassessed.

The injury has not kept Garner away from hockey employment. In an unusual move, Garner returned to North America and is playing as a forward for the Jacksonville Barracudas of the lowly SPHL minor leagues. I have never heard of a goalie, injured or otherwise, skating as a forward.

Garner has even scored 5 goals and 3 assists in 13 games. The 6'2", 225lb goalie has been described as the team's most consistent forward.

Garner desperately wants to return to the nets, however. He expects to begin practicing as a goalie in the new year, although he understands he will not play in net for the Barracudas at any point this season.

Garner also hopes to return to Norway. He hopes to gain his citizenship in time for the 2010 Olympics.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Ouch. I find it hard to believe he can walk properly after such an injury