Jeff Weber was once part of a reality show called Pros vs. Joes, where he was actually the professional.
Over the past few days, he’s been on the other side of that equation.
With Miikka Kiprusoff off playing for his native Finland at the Olympics, the Calgary Flames have brought in the University of Calgary Dinos goalie to take a pile of rubber from shooters.
“The first time back is always a bit overwhelming,” said Weber, who gets the occasional call from the Flames to be a practice goalie.
“The first few shots whiz by you and you realize you are in the big leagues again. There is a difference between this level and my current level, but it’s still fun.”
Weber started Wednesday and still had a smile on his face Friday morning, even after Flames forwards burned him for goals on a three-on-one drill.
“No matter how many times I get the call, I’m jumping off the walls when it happens,” said the 25-year-old.
“My parents are coming in this weekend to see me practice. My university career is just about up and I would like the chance to play pro somewhere, so this is good.
“This is a good segue into it.”
This opportunity came at a good time for Weber, whose Dinos are on a bye week with the Canada West playoffs starting next week.
Playing at the pro level is nothing new to the Ottawa native. After a four-year Ontario Hockey League career with four teams, he spent three seasons in the East Coast Hockey League, which landed him in Los Angeles.
That’s where he was when Pros vs. Joes found him.
“I was playing in Long Beach in the ECHL, and they do a lot of their shootings at Long Beach arena,” Weber said.
“Grant Fuhr was supposed to show up, but he never did. They had me there.
“I took an hour and a half of breakaways against guys who could barely skate.”
Quite the opposite of what he’s doing this week.