Glass is always, always, a hilarious last name for an athlete. And now, it seems, there will be one suiting up in Toronto, at least in the preseason.
Per James Mirtle:
Leafs expected to add goaltender Jeff Glass to camp on a PTO. Last seven seasons spent in KHL.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) August 26, 2016
Glass, as you may remember, was the “put just about anyone in there” guy on the 2005 World Junior team, giving up just seven goals in five games en route to a dominant gold medal led by Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron.
However, let’s not pretend a good junior tournament from 11 years ago means anything. In the time that’s elapsed since then, Glass has had quite the eventful career… none of which has been in the NHL.
What does the move mean?
The most likely motive is that Glass is just a guy to have in training camp. With both Andersen and Enroth at the World Cup of Hockey, the Leafs didn’t need an extra body per se during training camp, but it’d go against conventional wisdom and just about what every other NHL team would do.
With two goalies signed to NHL deals and Garret Sparks and Kasimir Kaskisuo under contract as well, it’s highly unlikely that Glass would sign with the Leafs to any sort of legitimate contract.
Most recently, Glass played for Minsk Dynamo in the KHL last season, putting up a .910 save percentage.
Most likely, he’s using the opportunity to impress other scouts in an attempt to return to North America, while the Leafs could also use his services to not burn out the goalies they do have in a mostly meaningless camp.
With the seemingly endless instability of the KHL, it would be sensible for a player like Glass to try to stick in his home continent for the final few years of his career. It’s possible he’ll settle with an AHL job somewhere other than Toronto if all goes well for him.
An 89th overall pick in 2004 by Ottawa and bouncing around from team to team, the consensus would be that Glass likely isn’t ever going to make the NHL. With often strong but wholly inconsistent numbers, there’s not much to suggest he’s going to be one of the top 60 goalies in the NHL, and there’s few, if any, teams that would look to bring him up to the “show” when games mean something.
What’s Glass been up to?
In addition to his World Junior win, Glass also backstopped Canada to the Spengler Cup title in 2015. He spoke to our own Cat Silverman at InGoal Magazine earlier this year about the many things he’s gone through:
“The game is constantly evolving,” he said. “It’s funny; I’ve learned that everyone wanted to copy Canadian style goaltending, then Finns were trendy and that was the thing to do. But it’s not so much about being trendy as it is wanting to get better. You have to stay on top of what’s being taught, and decide what works best for you.”
I guess a PTO works best for him right now.