Dwayne Roloson – at 45 years of age – makes a surprise return to an NHL team

Dwayne Roloson’s last game as an NHL goalie came in 2012 – when he was 42. He’s 45 now, but he made a sudden and unexpected appearance in goalie gear Sunday night in Colorado after Ducks goalie John Gibson was injured.

Dwayne Roloson managed to play until he was 42 years and 178 days old, a feat matched by only a couple dozen NHLers in league history. And thanks to a twist of fate Sunday night in Colorado, he nearly set a new record – as an active player – three years after he retired.

Now serving as goalie consultant for Anaheim, Roloson was pressed into backup netminding duty when John Gibson suffered a lower-body injury prior to the Ducks’ road game against the Avalanche and could not dress. Regular backup Jason LaBarbera went between the pipes, and with no other insurance option for the night, coach Bruce Boudreau made the only choice he could:


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The Ducks had been prepared for this type of emergency and filed paperwork to allow Roloson to step into action. And NHL Rule 5.3 allows any team to dress an available, eligible goalie in the case of such a circumstance.

If he did step on the ice, the Simcoe. Ont., native – born Oct. 12, 1969 – would have been the third-oldest goalie ever to play an NHL game: only Maurice ‘Moe’ Roberts (45 years, 345 days) and Johnny Bower (45 years and 32 days) played at a more advanced age.