Scott Foster may have had a night he’ll never forget as the Blackhawks’ goaltender in a 6-2 win over the Jets, but that’s pretty much all he’ll get. Based on the rules for amateur tryout contracts determined by the NHL collective bargaining agreement, Foster won’t be paid anything for appearing in a game alongside players who make millions.
“Just beer league glory,” Foster told NBC Sports Chicago’s Adam Burish of his compensation during a postgame interview.
The reason that Foster will not be paid despite playing 14 minutes, risking injury and making seven saves in an NHL game is he was technically signed to an amateur tryout agreement, which does not offer compensation. Here’s the language used in the CBA for amateur tryout agreements:
As a result, Foster was out there unpaid making a save against Dustin Byfuglien, who will make $8 million playing hockey this season. On Thursday morning, the league tweeted about Foster’s jersey being sold in its store.
This isn’t to say that emergency goaltenders receive nothing for their time. Foster estimated he’s been to 12-15 games as part of NHL’s rules that require each team to have an emergency goalie in attendance at home games. Last year when the rule change went into effect, the Kings and Devils held open tryouts to figure out who would fill that role. The Hawks have a group of local emergency goalies they rotate through.
Foster got to attend all of those games for free, and he’ll get to keep his jersey and gear. He also had an unforgettable experience that can’t be replicated. “From my perspective, this is a dream regardless,” Foster said. ‘This is something that no one can ever take away from me, it’s something I can go home and tell my kids and they can tell their friends and whatnot.”
But beyond the memories that will last a lifetime and a story that’ll be a hit at Johnny’s IceHouse, Foster won’t receive any payment for taking the ice and saving the day in front of over 20,000 fans.