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30-year-old MacIntyre to make first NHL start tonight

Apr 10, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT

DrewMacIntyre Getty Images

After 351 AHL games, 56 in the ECHL and two in the KHL, Drew MacIntyre will finally start his first National Hockey League contest tonight, as he gets the nod for Toronto when the Leafs take on the Panthers in Florida.

While it’ll be his first-ever start, this isn’t MacIntyre’s first foray into an NHL contest. The journeyman netminder has appeared in five games over the course of his career, all relief appearances, including one this year for Toronto — a 3-2 loss to New Jersey in which he replaced James Reimer and fared well, stopping all 14 shots faced.

Here’s more, from the Canadian Press:

The goaltender who gives MacIntyre inspiration is Tim┬áThomas, who didn’t make his first career NHL start until the age of 28 and didn’t get a real chance until after a sojourn to Europe showed what kind of performer he could become.

Family members and friends always bring up Thomas, now a Conn Smythe Trophy and Stanley Cup-winner, to give MacIntyre hope. And he buys into that belief.

“He did it. I don’t see why I couldn’t do it,” MacIntyre said. “I’m not saying I’m going to be Tim┬áThomas if I get a chance, but I like to think I can compete well up here.”

If nothing else, MacIntyre should be given credit for the amount of travel he’s done over the last eight years. The list of cities he’s played in over that time? Manitoba (Winnipeg), Vancouver, Milwaukee, Chicago, Hamilton, Rochester, Buffalo, Prague, Reading and Toronto.

  1. 50milessouthofdetroit - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    and Toledo

  2. garybrian - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Good luck to Drew. Shows perseverance can pay off. Have a great game

  3. skeeterbarnes - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    He played for the Manitoba Moose in Winnipeg (note to writer: Winnipeg is the city, Manitoba is the province). Good AHL goalie and good on him for getting his time in the show.

    • Mike Halford - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      Yup, it was phrased a little awkwardly (my fault) as I should’ve said organizations, not cities. I didn’t write just Winnipeg as I didn’t want it to be possibly confused with the Jets. Change reflected. Thanks for heads up.

      • skeeterbarnes - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:18 PM

        No problem man!

  4. nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    Arguably a better role model for a Leafs goalie hopeful in his 30s might be Johnny Bower. He was in the Rangers farm system at age 32 when Toronto took a chance on him, and he then won two Vezina Trophies and 4 Stanley Cups, and played until he was in his mid-40s. He even recorded a hit Christmas song in 1965 and he’s still rockin’ at age 89.
    Good luck Drew!

  5. billiam55 - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    WHY PUT HIM THROUGH THE PAIN?!/

  6. obamareallysucks - Apr 10, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Leafs suck!

  7. hieronymous27 - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    When Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle was asked how he thought McIntyre might do tonight, he responded by saying that McIntyre “would be okay, just okay”.

  8. pavelfitzgerald - Apr 12, 2014 at 1:51 AM

    Good kid who I met a few times when he was with the Moose.
    He was a victem of bad timing, always inevitably playing for franchises that had strong NHL goalies or ones that broke out when he was there (i.e. Luongi with Canucks/Moose, Howard with Detroit/Grand Rapids, etc.)

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