Cannata Joins Avalanche for NHL Global Series

Cannata thrilled to be emergency goalie for Avalanche

Joe Cannata found out he was going to Stockholm to be the Colorado Avalanche’s emergency third goalie for the SAP Global Series after a morning skate in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday. It was like picking up a winning lottery ticket.

“It’s pretty cool,” an understated Cannata said after practice at Ericsson Globe on Tuesday. “I was with San Antonio and they told me I was going so it was obviously a surprise. It’s going to be an experience of a lifetime.”

Cannata, 27, who started the season with the Colorado Eagles in the ECHL, was backing up Spencer Martin with San Antonio of the American Hockey League because Ville Husso had been called up to the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 29 to replace backup Carter Hutton, whose wife was expecting a baby.

The Blues and Avalanche have a shared affiliation with San Antonio this season.

However, the NHL allowed the Avalanche and Ottawa Senators to bring an emergency third goalie with them to Stockholm, in case either of their two goalies couldn’t dress for a game.

Cannata thought Martin would get the call because he has technically been third on the Avalanche’s goaltending depth chart behind Semyon Varlamov and Jonathan Bernier. He was shocked to hear from Rampage coach Eric Veilleux that he was going instead.

“I got off the ice for pregame skate that day in Des Moines and coach just called me in and said they were going to send me,” Cannata said. “I thought Martin would go, but I’m sure they wanted him to continue playing games. This is awesome.”

Cannata left Des Moines and flew back to Denver on Saturday to pick up some winter clothes. He joined the Avalanche’s injured players, including forwards Tyson Jost, Colin Wilson and J.T. Compher, on a flight to Newark, New Jersey, on Sunday. He then flew with the team to Stockholm.

Cannata, who has bounced between the AHL and ECHL since turning pro in 2012, said this is his first visit to Sweden. He’s excited to get a chance to work with Varlamov and Bernier, and hopes to have a chance to work with goalie coach Jussi Parkkila at some point this week. But he is just as excited to be a tourist.

“I’ve been to Finland before and I’m sure they’re somewhat similar, but Stockholm is definitely beautiful,” he said. “I just have to enjoy it really enjoy this. It’s pretty cool how big hockey is here and just to experience another culture is great.”

— Dan Rosen via