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IceCaps Player Profile: Goaltender Eddie Pasquale

An original IceCap, Pasquale is healthy and back in St. John's, stopping shots to the familiar chants of "Ed-die!"

St. John's IceCaps / Colin Peddle

Before the St. John's IceCaps were the AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, they were the farm team of the Winnipeg Jets. Eddie Pasquale minded the net for the IceCaps for three seasons (2011-12 to 2013-14), held the record for most games played by a netminder (112) and backed the team in all 15 Calder Cup Playoff games in 2012.

Over the course of his career, Pasquale has dressed in almost every league: OHL, ECHL, AHL and NHL (though he didn't play due to injury). The OHL's Belleville Bulls was his first stop in junior hockey, joining P.K. Subban's club in 2007. He went on to the Saginaw Spirit, leading that team into the playoffs three seasons in a row.

During the last of those playoff appearances, he caught the eye of Atlanta Thrashers (later to become the Winnipeg Jets) general manager, Rick Dudley, who observed Pasquale's first-star performances in three consecutive games. "He was brilliant  [during the season], but in the playoffs he was the best goaltender in the OHL easily." Pasquale was selected in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft (117th overall), and signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Thrashers.

He's a solid netminder in skill and size, filling the net at 6'2". His impressive skill with his glove hand helps him easily make saves and control the puck, and his calm demeanor allows him to increase his level of play to match the opposition.

Pasquale received a spot in the AHL All-Star Game in the 2011-12 season, and earned AHL Player of the Week honours soon after the exhibition weekend.

It didn't take long for him to become a fan favorite. Whenever he made one of his spectacular saves, the stadium would fill with chants of "Ed-die! Ed-die! Ed-die!" Unfortunately, toward the end of the 2013-14 season, Pasquale suffered a season-ending hip injury.

That summer, Pasquale was traded by the Jets to the Washington Capitals in exchange for draft picks. However, the netminder had to sit out the entire 2014-15 season to recuperate from two hip surgeries, and became a free agent at the end of year.

Coming highly recommended by Dudley, now Montreal's assistant general manager, the Canadiens signed him to a one-year, two-way AHL contract with the newly re-affiliated IceCaps. There were other teams interested in his services, but he settled on the Canadiens given his familiarity with Dudley and the city of St. John's. "The fact that I enjoyed my time in St. John's, that my girlfriend is from St. John's, made it a no-brainer for me." Pasquale said regarding his decision.

After a full recovery from his surgeries, Pasquale was eager to get back on the ice, no matter which league that would end up being. "The ECHL is always a possibility, but right now I'm just happy to have a new contract and a chance to get my career back on track. If I play the way I'm capable of playing, I can play in the AHL. If there's rust buildup, I'll go wherever they assign me to work it off. I'm just happy to be playing again, and I mean that. Hey, last year this time, I was thinking I'd have to retire."

Due to a backlog of goalies at the start of the 2015-16 season — Carey Price, Mike Condon, Dustin Tokarski, and Zachary Fucale — he was indeed sent to the ECHL' Brampton Beast. When Ben Scrivens was acquired as Condon's backup in December and Tokarski was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in January, Pasquale once again took his rightful place between the pipes for the IceCaps, sharing netminding duties with Fucale. With 20 games played, he currently has a 2.55 goals-against average with a .919 save percentage.

"With Montreal, everyone knows Carey Price is not going anywhere, but on teams, there is always someone knocking on doors, there's always competition, or there should be, because you practice that much harder, you skate that much harder," he said. "It's good for the team and the player."