Panthers Goalie Woes Extend to Minors


The Florida Panthers have had some bad luck in the goaltending department this season. While they remain only two points out of the second wild card position in the eastern conference, they have had some woes between the pipes that they have found unorthodox ways to improve with.

The team is holding an open try out in Florida to get a practice goalie after suffering so many injuries. Veteran Dan Ellis has been up from the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League, but still, the Panthers need more.

More from AHL

“We look forward to welcoming goaltenders from across South Florida to this open tryout,” Panthers goalie coach Robb Tallas told the Palm Beach Post. “It promises to be a once in a lifetime experience for the goaltender who is selected to serve as our team’s back-up practice goalie for a day.”

Roberto Luongo will be out for a bit, and Al Montoya, his backup, has a groin injury. To back up Ellis, the Panthers needed to recall ECHL goalie Sam Brittian, a 22 year old minor leaguer. The Calgary native played college at the University of Denver and has been playing this season in Cincinnati and has never played in an NHL contest.

Against the Toronto Maple Leafs recently, both Luongo and Montoya were injured. After Montoya was hurt, Luongo was forced into the game but was still shaky, and assistant coach Robb Tallas had to suit up as the backup. The 41 year old last took to the net in 2001.

The Rampage, the AHL club of the Panthers, have seen Ellis as their starter all season who had a goals against average of 2.70. Now the club has gone with Michael Housier in his place who has a 3.02, and struggled with a 3.05 as his total last season.

San Antonio is second in their division behind the Oklahoma City Barons and have a pretty secure playoff position. However, Housier being their starter doesn’t help. Luongo should be back in Florida this week, but Montoya is out for another two weeks or so with his more serious injury, which means Ellis will stay up as a backup.

There’s a chance they allow Brittian a chance with San Antonio, but it’s likely he returns to his team in Cincinnati.

Housier, an Ohio native, played with the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League and was the first ever American born goalie to win the Canadian Hockey League goaltender of the year.