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Blackhawks sign random 23-year-old to be emergency backup goalie against Flyers

Corey Crawford is sick, and Chicago needed a backup for its game in Philadelphia on Saturday.

The Chicago Blackhawks needed a backup goaltender with Corey Crawford unexpectedly falling ill, so the team has signed 23-year-old Eric Semborski to an amateur tryout contract for Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. The team announced the move in the morning just hours before the start of the game.

Scott Darling will start in goal for Chicago, but with Crawford sidelined, the team needed another goaltender in Philly. Semborski was apparently nearby, and that made him the convenient answer as an emergency backup for Darling.

Crawford is suffering from acute appendicitis, so he’s undergoing an appendectomy in a Philadelphia hospital Saturday. That left Chicago with only one goaltender, and it was easier to call on a local goalie like Semborski than try to fly out one of the Rockford goalies for a game.

And to be clear here, Semborski is not a hockey prospect. He played club hockey at Temple University and for the Empire Junior Hockey League’s Jersey Wildcats. Nothing hockey-related comes up when you Google his name, except for the stories now pouring into Google News about his signing with the Blackhawks.

So it’s a pretty interesting situation, even if it’s highly unlikely that Semborski will actually play for the Blackhawks. He’ll be uniform, though, and ready to step in if Darling suffers an injury or gets abducted by aliens. Not that I want anything unfortunate to happen to Darling, but a little bit of me wishes we could see this kid play for a few minutes. It’ll be a helluva story for him either way.