Attention Brendan Shanahan: if the Toronto Maple Leafs run into goaltending issues this season, there’s an app for that.
Niki Sawni, a recreational hockey player, thinks that he has a solution for the age old question, “Who’s playing net?”
Sawni played competitive hockey in his youth, and upon graduating university played in several men’s leagues. After several experiences using rent-a-goalie services he was left less than impressed.
“Renting a goalie was awful, basically. They just send any goalie to you and the guy can be absolutely awful … or maybe even too good,” says Sawni.
The experience gave Sawni the idea for Puck, an app that is a cross between Uber and Tinder, but for goaltenders. It allows users to pick a goalie based on several factors including location, time and skill level.
Puck also solves the frequent problem of paying the borrowed goalie.
“When we needed to get cash to pay the guy, we’d all be looking for toonies and five-dollar bills,” Sawni recalls. “It’s just a hassle … and it could all be automated through an app.”
Puck launched in Toronto on Sept. 1 and currently has 100 goalies of various skill levels available to be selected.
But what if one of these prospective tenders thinks that he’s Carey Price even if his skills aren’t quite up to par?
“At the end of the game, the goalies rank the team and the team ranks the goalie…. Everybody has bad games, but if it’s consistent we’ll either drop them down a level, or remove them from the app,” Sawni said.
Puck is currently only available in Toronto, but the app is expanding to Ottawa on Nov. 1. Eventually Sawni would like it to go even bigger.
“The goal is to go across Canada, and maybe even into the United States,” Sawni said.