Tom Fenton found, signed by Coyotes

NEW YORK -- Tom Fenton was getting a haircut and planned to watch the Rangers game Thursday night from his couch. He got a better seat than that.

When Phoenix Coyotes No. 1 netminder Ilya Bryzgalov came down with the flu shortly before facing New York at Madison Square Garden, the team didn't have time to call up a goalie from the minors. Coyotes head of pro scouting Frank Effinger scoured the area for an amateur goalie and came up with Fenton, who lives in Purchase, N.Y., and coaches hockey at Manhattanville College. Effinger lives in the same area.

"My phone rang, I didn't pick it up," Fenton, 26, said, according to the Coyotes' website. "I eventually saw who it was so I picked it up after the haircut and called them right back. They basically said I have to get my butt down to MSG as soon as I can."

The Coyotes signed Fenton to an emergency contract and gave him jersey No. 35. He hadn't played since his senior year at American International College in Springfield, Mass., in 2009. He went 1-12-1 with a 3.60 goals-against average that season.

Fenton said he felt a little shaky when he took the ice for warmups, but he did make one observation.

"Good ice," Fenton cracked, according to the Coyotes site. "I wasn't expecting that, to be honest with you. It was great. This whole place was electric. I know we always say that cliche, but once you're out there, it's a totally different experience. Words can't really describe it."

Fenton spent the game -- a 4-3 Rangers' win in a shootout -- on the bench, but there was a point he thought he might get in.

"There was one point Barbs came across and made a pretty good save and he was kind of favoring his groin and I immediately started sweating on the bench," Fenton said, according to the Coyotes site.

"Goaltending's a little different. Just seeing these guys shoot in warmups was pretty spectacular. A lot of the guys can really wind up the puck. I don't know about [Marian] Gaborik coming down on me or anything like that."

Fenton was asked if he knew how much money he'd make for his NHL appearance.

"Oh, I don't know. I just signed the paper," Fenton said, according to the Coyotes site. "I don't care if there is anything involved there. Great story just to go home with for Christmas."

He did get one thing. The team let him keep his jersey. Oh, and another thing ... he can always say he was on an NHL team, if only for a night.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.