Hall of Famer Larry Walker to Serve as Avs’ Honorary Emergency Goaltender
Longtime Colorado Rockies’ slugger Larry Walker, who was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, will officially serve as the honorary emergency goalie for the Colorado Avalanche for Sunday night’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights, according to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan.
Walker, 53, grew up with dreams of being an NHL goalie, and according to a 1993 cover story on Walker in Sports Illustrated, “one of [Walker’s] idols was Billy Smith, the cantankerous netminder for the New York Islanders who seemed to skate around some rink holding the Stanley Cup over his head every year.”
Walker gave up on his NHL dreams after he was cut from two Junior A teams as a teenager, and then turned his attention to baseball where he went on to have a 17-year career in which he won seven Gold Gloves and the 1997 National League MVP award.
Walker is set to be inducted in the Hall of Fame in July.
“At the end of the discussion, the majority was happy with where we are at on it,” NHL director of hockey operations Colin Campbell said regarding their emergency backup goaltender procedure. “It’s a good human-interest story. I think the process works … our general managers are fine with where it’s at right now.”