At just about every level of hockey, goalies are a hot commodity. So, what do you do if your team’s netminder bails? There’s an app for that.
PuckApp has a roster of about 3,500 on-call goalies across Canada and operates in Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa.
“When you need a goalie for beer league or shinny hockey, you download the app at www.puckapp.ca, you select the city you need, the skill level, the rink and the time,” Brennan Bleile explained. “It sends out a push notification to all the players … From there, the goalie gets to decide if he can make it or not.”
READ MORE: 5 apps you need to download for Canada Day
Bleile is a goaltender himself and quickly realized how in-demand those who play the position are.
“Growing up as a goalie, I was requested — even when I was like 14, 15 — to go play on my dad’s team and all his friends’ beer league teams.
“The older I got, the more requests I got for beer league,” Bleile said. “The shortage for goalies is out there.
“I started a list of goalies that I used to do through text messages but that was just too time-consuming. After hearing of apps like Uber, I thought that would be perfect for a rent-a-goalie service.”
Using the app, it costs $40 to rent a goalie with more than two-hours’ notice. The player takes home between $25 and $35 of that, while the rest keeps the app running. There’s even an option to tip the fill-in goalie and rate their performance.
“I love this app,” Bleile said. “I’ve used for even my team when I can’t make it and I need a goalie. I put in a request and it’s great. It’s so easy to use. It’s not a money maker but it’s more for the love of the game.
“It’s great to be able to help hockey continue. Everyone needs a goalie!”
Bleile said some hockey leagues will charge a fee if a team has to forfeit a game and so the app has been a well-received other option.
“We have 99 per cent love for the app. It makes it a lot easier to find a goalie. We have a few guys who don’t want to pay for a goalie but this is mainly an emergency basis kind of thing,” he explained.
“If you don’t have a goalie, we’ve had requests up to 15 minutes before a game and have been able to cover that. We have goalies all over — everywhere, in every city, even in the small towns outside of the cities — that just want to play.”