The Carolina Hurricanes went in-house to solve a goalie dilemma on New Year’s Eve.
With regular backup Eddie Lack feeling ill on Saturday, the Hurricanes needed to find a replacement to backup starter Cam Ward against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Trying to get a call-up done late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve is next to impossible, so they turned to their 37-year-old equipment manager.
Jorge Alves signs his professional tryout contract to serve as the #Canes back-up goaltender tonight. #CARvsTBL pic.twitter.com/i3DOaTLlr2— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) December 31, 2016
Second page of the PTO for Jorge Alves, with his player information. Jorge played club hockey for @NCStateHockey. #statement @NCState pic.twitter.com/WJ0MNTsFLH— Mike Sundheim (@MikeSundheim) December 31, 2016
First of all, how nice that you can sign contracts on iPhones now! Super convenient. And Alves is pretty experienced at the position: he played for N.C. State in 2002-03 and played in the ECHL for a few years before becoming the Hurricanes’ equipment manager. He probably thought his NHL dreams were over.
Jorge Alves leads the #Canes onto the ice. #CARvsTBL pic.twitter.com/pNWyWc2mL1— Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) December 31, 2016
Nope! But the best part of this story is his mask, which he had custom-made just for this occasion.
The mask Jorge Alves will wear tonight features his fellow equipment managers. Erik Huffine drew caricatures. Jorge painted it himself. pic.twitter.com/PHympx1LhC— Mike Sundheim (@MikeSundheim) December 31, 2016
Goalie, equipment guru and artist. Jorge Alves is a gem. And now he might play on Saturday. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have other duties to perform.
All you need to know about Jorge Alves. The man is doing two jobs tonight. @NHLCanes pic.twitter.com/rTMXShPTjl— Mike Maniscalco (@mikemaniscalco) January 1, 2017
The Hurricanes fell, 3-1, but they gave Alves the chance of a lifetime with seconds remaining.
Jorge Alves can now officially call himself an NHL goaltender. And he got pretty choked up about it after the game. What a great moment for the guy.
"They were really excited for me, which meant a lot."— FOX Sports Carolinas (@CanesOnFSCR) January 1, 2017
The @NHLCanes support their equipment manager in his NHL debut in #CARvsTBL pic.twitter.com/tRTzhbEsGv