With Marc-Andre Fleury still in Vancouver, the Penguins are only down to one goalie. Other teams have called up minor leaguers as practices have begun, but with Pittsburgh so tight to the cap and not wanting to waste any space, they're in a bind. They could call up John Curry if they wanted, but that would basically waste all the travel miles that guys like Nick Johnson and Mark Letestu have piled up bouncing back between NHL games to save the team some space.
So to join Brent Johnson at practice in Fleury's absence, the team got a little creative by tabbing someone already on the payroll and in town. Meet Jim Britt, the team's video coordinator. His normal tasks are to break down game film to help prepare the team, but now he's got a special temporary duty that probably didn't show up on the job description: to fill in at practice and take shots from NHL players.
How does Britt think he's doing? "I grew up playing in Philadelphia, midgets and high school hockey, but it doesn't even compare to the speed and skill that these guys have. They pick you apart. You feel like you're getting good and have your angle down and they put the puck into a hole you didn't know was there."
If this story sounds vaguely familiar, it's because it is. The Washington Capitals have a guy named Brett Leonhardt who fills a similar job with the team as a website video producer. Due to injuries Leonhardt will occasionally man the net for the Caps at practice, but last season he was famously (and nervously) thrust into a NHL game where he served as a backup for a short portion of the first, while a replacement from Hershey scrambled to make it to the game. Here's hoping Britt enjoys himself but never gets put in that position!