The long and winding road that was Jeff Glass’ playing career has finally come to an end. The veteran goaltender has been hired by the San Diego Gulls as the team’s goaltending coach, after previously serving in the role on a part-time basis.
Selected 89th overall in 2004, the 6’3″ netminder was a standout at the junior level, winning the CHL Goaltender of the Year award in 2005 and winning a World Junior gold medal by registering a .922 save percentage in five tournament games. His professional career started the following season, and it has been a wild ride ever since.
Things kicked off in the AHL with the Binghamton Senators, but Glass would end up playing most of that first season with the Charlotte Checkers, then an ECHL franchise. After a few more years with Binghamton, he would depart for his first international tour, joining Barys Astana of the KHL, a team located in Kazakhstan. Three years were spent there before Glass would start bouncing around the KHL, playing for Sibir Novosibirsk, Spartak Moscow, CSKA Moscow, Lada Togliatti, and Dinamo Minsk all in a four-year span.
In 2016 he returned to North America, first playing for the Toronto Marlies, and then joining the Rockford IceHogs. In early 2017, nearly a decade after his previous NHL contract expired, Glass signed a two-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks to serve as an emergency depth option. In the 2017-18 season, he finally made his NHL debut at the age of 32, stopping 42 of 45 shots against the Connor McDavid-led Edmonton Oilers and earning the win. At the time, he was the second-oldest goaltender since 1967 to win his NHL debut.
Fourteen more NHL appearances followed before he was back on the minor league rollercoaster. Glass would attend training camp with the Calgary Flames on a PTO, and play for the Marlies again before joining the Gulls in the 2018-19 season. He played for the Black Wings in the EBEL in 2019-20, and returned as a player-coach to San Diego afterward. Glass was in the net four times in 2020-21, the last season he appeared in a game.