There was a new face at Toronto Maple Leafs practice on Friday, and it was one of a very well-traveled fellow.
Drew MacIntyre, the team’s third string goaltender, received a surprise call up after regular backup Ben Scrivens left the team to attend his grandfather’s funeral in Alberta.
MacIntyre isn’t likely to play and could well be back with the Toronto Marlies for the second round of the playoffs come the weekend, but he’s an interesting story nonetheless.
A 29-year-old from Charlottetown, PEI, he started the season in the KHL in Prague, played two games, then had a tough time catching on with a team when he returned to North America.
A veteran AHLer with some pretty good seasons, he has played in just four NHL games but had to start this season in the ECHL.
After posting a .931 save percentage there in 10 games, MacIntyre was bumped up to the Marlies and has been hot ever since, leading them on a 16-5-3 run (including a first-round sweep) despite the fact many of their top players joined the Leafs after the lockout.
It’s been a long road to this point, even before this season. MacIntyre has played for 12 different pro teams in the last nine seasons before joining the Leafs at practice here in Boston, with stops on the minor-league franchises for Detroit, Vancouver, Nashville, Atlanta, Montreal and Buffalo.
It’s not always easy making a living as a goalie when there are just 60 jobs at the top level ever season.
Everyone in the organization has been hugely impressed with his play on the farm, however, something that may allow him to stick with the Marlies next season as a mentor to a young goalie like Garret Sparks.