The Toledo Walleye lost their potential No. 1 goaltender before training camp even opened on Monday.
The team does not have a goaltender from either of its American Hockey League affiliates in Rockford or Grand Rapids.
It appeared that rookie goalie Mac Carruth would start the season in the ECHL with Toledo. Carruth, who is in the Chicago Blackhawks’ system, was actually assigned to Toledo last weekend.
Carruth was in the American Hockey League with Rockford for the IceHogs’ training camp. But former Walleye goalie Kent Simpson and Antti Raanta, a fifth-year goalie from Finland, were expected to be Rockford’s two netminders.
However Raanta was injured just 5:36 into Rockford’s game against San Antonio on Saturday. Carruth was immediately called back up to replace Raanta. Carruth had a 30-7-2 record with a 2.06 goals against average for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League last season.
“We always have to have a plan B,” Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said.
Vitucci said he is more than comfortable with the two goalies who are currently in camp: Neil Conway and Brooks Ostergard.
Conway went 15-8-0 with a 2.65 goals-against average with Quad City of the Central Hockey League last season. Ostergard played in six games for Trenton of the ECHL last year and went 5-1-0 with a 3.13 GAA.
“We have some capable goaltenders right now,” he said. “Conway is a good goalie. He did very well in the CHL. Ostergard has played in our league and did very well.”
An injury in the Detroit Red Wings’ system also means Toledo will not be assigned a goalie from Grand Rapids of the AHL.
Jonas Gustavsson is on injured reserve in Detroit and former Walleye goalie Petr Mrazek has been called up to the Red Wings. Another former Toledo goalie, Thomas McCollum, and rookie Jared Coreau, are in Grand Rapids.
Vitucci said he was told on Sunday that it may be about two weeks before his team sees a goalie from Grand Rapids.
Toledo plays its first preseason game at Kalamazoo today. The Walleye then host the K-Wings for their only home preseason contest on Saturday.
General admission tickets to the game are $5, with all proceeds benefiting the Walleye Wishing Well charitable fund.
LAMPL SHINES: Defenseman Cody Lampl received an invitation to the training camp of the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL.
Lampl has an ECHL contract with the Walleye and became a fan favorite last year. But Lampl has opened eyes in the AHL and has played in two games for the IceCaps.
Lampl, known for his long beard and tattoos, had 127 penalty minutes in 64 games for Toledo. He also had six goals and nine assists.
Defenseman Bobby Shea also is not in camp with Toledo despite being sent down from Rockford. The Walleye do not own his rights.
Shea, who played at Bowling Green State University last season, is in camp with Reading of the ECHL.