His career NHL stats may read 0 wins, 0 losses, 0 goals allowed, and a 0% save percentage, but Brett Leonhardt is now just like one of the guys. On Monday, Upper Deck announced that they had created the long sought-after Brett Leonhardt rookie card.
And what a delight it is.
The 31-year-old video coach has suited up twice for the Washington Capitals on an emergency basis. His NHL debut occurred on December 12, 2008, when the Capitals hosted the Ottawa Senators. With Jose Theodore gone down that morning with a hip flexor injury and Semyon Varlamov unable to make it to the arena from Hershey in time, Leonhardt — the team’s website producer at the time — suited up and went out with the team for warm-ups. He sat on the bench until Varly arrived 9:03 into the first period.
Leonhardt suited up for a second time in his career this season. After Michal Neuvirth stepped on a puck while going out for warm-ups, Stretch backed-up Braden Holtby for the entire game. And because he’s a pro’s pro, he still did his video duties during intermission– while wearing full gear.
Leonhardt, who was a NCAA Division III goalie with the State University of New York at Oswego and Neumann College, joins fellow Capitals’ rookies Tom Wilson, Connor Carrick, and Michael Latta in the Young Guns set.
“Words can’t describe the surprise I was given when one of our players along with head coach Adam Oates presented to me the Upper Deck Young Guns blow-up cards before our team meeting with my image on them,” Leonhardt said.
“As an avid card collector my entire life, this was truly a dream come true,” he continued. “My father, brother, and I attended many card-collecting expos and spent countless hours through our youth collecting hockey cards and completing sets. You really created a highlight in my life by putting this together, and I don’t know how to thank you enough!”
For those of you who want your own card, here’s the bad news. Upper Deck produced the cards exclusively for Brett and the Capitals and are not releasing these to the public. Drats.
But big congrats to Stretch. He is now on the same level as Greg Wyshynski. That’s something to be proud of.
.. I think.
H/t to Sean Gentille for posting first.