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Making Money As A Rent-A-Goalie

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

To the ice rinks of Toronto now where there are a lot.

KEITH HAMILTON: In the 20-mile radius of downtown Toronto, there's at least 100 rinks.

SIMON: Keith Hamilton is a musician, DJ and ice hockey rent-a-goalie, a hired schtick, if you please, for amateur ice hockey teams in need. Why the demand? Is there a goalie shortage? Keith Hamilton muses...

HAMILTON: The equipment to play goalie is quite a bit more expensive than it is for a standard player. And I guess there's also - not many people are super keen to stand in front of flying rubber pucks. They prefer to shoot them.

SIMON: Wouldn't you? Mr. Hamilton estimates he's played more than 4,000 games in eight years as a rent-a-goalie for 40 Canadian dollars per game.

HAMILTON: I'm very fortunate in this job that the hours are all over the place. So without having a standard nine-to-five Monday to Friday, I can still log enough games for it to pretty much be a full-time job.

SIMON: But, Keith, 40 Canadian dollars to risk getting a puck in your teeth? - he says the flexible hours allow him to pursue a music career. He was parked outside of a hockey rink when we reached him.

HAMILTON: I need one second here. I'm so sorry.

SIMON: Rushing from one game to another.

HAMILTON: There's a dump truck that was trying to get by. I had to move my vehicle (laughter). I just finished playing my third game of the day. And I have to more this afternoon.

SIMON: In Toronto, hockey isn't just a game. It's the game. And if a team doesn't have a guy in the goal, they can't play the game.

HAMILTON: The vast majority - they're just super grateful that I'm there. And if we play, if we get a win then they're even more grateful. But even if we lose - just the fact that they didn't lose the opportunity to play their game - they're always quite grateful. I helped them save the game.

SIMON: Keith Hamilton, a rent-a-goalie in Toronto. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.