SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 20: Goaltender Jason LaBarbera #1 of the Phoenix Coyotes stops a penalty shot by Stephen Weiss #9 of the Florida Panthers in the final minute of the game on December 20, 2011 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Coyotes defeated the Panthers 2-1. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
With 14 days left to go we continue our series of looking at how the number has played a role in Phoenix Coyotes history. Today we are looking at 14, which is the number of games that goalie Jason LaBarbera started last season with the Coyotes. Barbs has been with the Coyotes since the 2009-10 season, and has played in a total of 53 games as a Desert Dog. He played in 19 games last season for a total of 1015 minutes, which is the most he has played in a season as a Coyote.
Barbs was originally drafted in the 1998 draft 66th overall by the New York Rangers. He actually got to play relief for a childhood hero of his Kirk McLean his first time in a professional game. He only played 1 game with the Rangers in 2000-01 and spent time in the ECHL and the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers and the Hartford Wolf back. Barbs returned to the Rangers for 4 games in the 2003-04 season. That 2003-04 he got the record for most shutouts in one season in the AHL with 13.
After the 2004-05 lockout, in which Barbs played in the AHL, he signed with the Los Angeles Kings playing backup and spending some time with their AHL affiliate. At one point the Kings were hesitant to call up LaBarbera for fear that he would be claimed from wavers. He was eventually dealt to his hometown Canucks in the 2008-09 season and signed with the Yotes on July 1, 2009.
Jason LaBarbera has won many awards in his career, he won the Aldege "Baz" Bastien Memorial Award for top goaltender in the AHL in 2004 and 2007, the Les Cunningham Award for AHL MVP in 2004 and the Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award for the fewest goals against in 2005 and 2007.
This past season LaBarbera made headlines for his Pat Tillman inspired helmet and his pledge to donate $420 to the Pat Tillman Foundation for every win he got in the season.