Thursday, April 7, 2011


I don't think it's any secret that I love minor league hockey. I write a blog about my local ECHL team for crying out loud. One of my favorite things are minor league goalies. I'm not talking about the guys that are just paying their dues before they can move up or some big name prospect smoothing his rough edges by being peppered with 30 something shots in a game.

I'm talking about the guys who, for whatever reason, will spend their entire careers in ancient stadiums in front of 3,000 fans (at the most). One of my favorite career minor league goalies is Ryan Nie. I'm pretty sure I know why he's never really had a chance in the upper levels, but it doesn't matter.

The dude is fantastic. He really is.

Admitting that I adore him as much as I do is extremely hard for me. The guy has quite a knack for making my teams life miserable when he comes to town.

By my count, he's played for nine different teams in the last four years. I really can't help but adore him for that. It's like he's the saddest little puppy in the pound that just can't find that one home he's meant for.

The saddest part? This guy can put up wicked win/loss numbers. Take right now for example, 30-16-5. Last season? 28-12-4. It just keeps going.

Of course, I would be remiss in not mentioning how easy on the eyes he is. In fact, let me share a quote from the lovely person who sent these to me, Lisa (@Mnemneth):
"A lot of people made fun of me for falling all over myself in front of him, but he was just too cute.  I love broken noses and he has the most gorgeous blue eyes and long eyelashes.  He's totally sweet and definitely team-oriented.  Always does what's best for his boys."
 I really can't agree more. They are some terribly dreamy eyes and the broken nose makes him look so tough.

The last three photos are courtesy of Lisa.
What's not to love?

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