After going undrafted in the NHL following his time as a goalie on the Princeton men’s hockey team, Mike Condon ’13 was unsure of what to do next. He had played four seasons at Princeton but only started his senior year. When the Tigers’ season ended in March, Condon flew to southern California to try out for the Ontario (Calif.) Reign, a mid-level professional team then in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), while trying to finish his senior thesis about post-Cold War arms transfers.
Condon played well in California and was called up to play backup goalie for the Houston Aeros, the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Minnesota Wild. It wasn’t long before Condon caught the attention of the Montreal Canadiens, signing a contract in May 2013. After honing his skills during the last two seasons with the Canadiens’ ECHL and AHL affiliates, the Wheeling Nailers and Hamilton Bulldogs, Condon earned the role of backup goalie for the Canadiens. He has played in 23 of the team’s 36 games this season, filling in for the starting goalie, Carey Price, who is out with a lower-body injury until at least mid-January.
The jump from minor-league hockey to the NHL “is a challenge, and there’s a little bit of doubt in your mind,” Condon said. “At first it’s a little intimidating to be on the ice with [NHL players] because you don’t know how you’re going to fare. But the best way to do it is to jump into the fire, play with confidence, and trust your training.” Continue reading