The position of goalie has an inherent romanticism: masked men clad with cool armor, serving as the last line of defense. They play entire games, with an unparalleled ability to impact outcomes. When they're on, they can single-handedly defeat a giant foe. They are the consummate underdogs and towering superheroes all at once.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Rent a Goalie? Ever heard of it? Read ahead!
Thanks so much to Patrick Herman, owner of MyPuck.com Rent a Goalie, for contacting me about the Rent a Goalie business. Since I'm not from Canada, and I'm not from a hockey-heavy area of the U.S., I'd never heard of renting a goalie, so I found it fascinating.
Patrick's company was established in 2006 and ranks among the premier goalie services in Canada.
In Patrick's words here is what the business is all about:
Rent a goalie? Each word makes sense but string them into one and, well, wait, there’s such a thing? Sure! In fact, the rent a goalie concept has not only been around since the early 80’s it was also a TV show (in Canada). While we may associate the concept of “rent a goalie” to that of a late-season NHL trade it’s actually a thriving industry, most notably in Toronto.
While it’s still a bit of a hard one to pinpoint the who/when/where it most seem to agree it was one guy in the early 80’s in Toronto who decided it was worth it to ask for a few bucks to pay for his beer in return for playing a game with a team of guys he didn’t know. Alas, the idea of “rent a goalie” began.
But what happened? How did this become so? The reality in Toronto is hockey is played every single day, at any time of the day and at well over 100 arenas across the city. It became clear that a game was going on but that a goalie was potentially not available. That’s when the idea to ask for a few bucks became a novel idea.
Through the 80’s and 90’s there were only a few goalies doing this. A couple of “companies” and a couple of independent goalies who had their own network of games. The companies would have a roster of goalies and any time a game was available the company would filter the game out to an available tender.
By the mid-2000’s there were a bunch of different companies, some with websites and some without, along with a huge list of goalies who were willing to play for some pay. And then web 2.0 happened and anyone and everyone found out it was easy to set up a site and start trying their hand at the industry.
But, by 2013/14 there were less than 20 companies across Canada who could call themselves a real “rent a goalie” company. The truth was it was hard to make it work. You needed games to get goalies to want to sign up with you. You had to have goalies in order to fill the orders for games! If you didn’t have one of those you were soon to find yourself out of business. There are still a lot of independent goalies out there who source and play their own games and make a decent chunk of change doing so.
I get asked a lot, “how much money can a goalie make doing this”? The answer is always “it’s up to you”. Realistically, if you want to play a lot you’ll make more money. Some guys do this full time as a living! But most use it to fund new gear, pay for some bills, or, ugh, that special vacation the wife always wanted! But either way it’s a lot of fun but only up to you to decide what you ultimately put in your pockets.
All in all this is an insanely fun industry where you meet lots of cool people, former NHL’ers (among other pros) and you get to play hockey, so how much better can it be?!