Joey MacDonald knows enough about the vagaries of life as pro to know that nothing is ever etched in stone.


MacDonald, from Bayview, Pictou Co., and a one-time Halifax Mooseheads goaltender, signed a one-year, US$650,000 two-way contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier this week. He was immediately installed as the team’s No. 3 goalie — also known as the No. 1 goalie for the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies.


But the prospect of coming into camp next month with that label, or starting in the minors, doesn’t faze the lifelong Leafs fan.


“They said, ‘Hey, you never know. Come training camp, hockey can be strange world,’” said MacDonald. “You never know what’s going to happen.”

MacDonald knows that firsthand. Last year, he won the job as Rick DiPietro’s backup with the New York Islanders. He figured he would get about 15 games. Instead, DiPietro got hurt, and MacDonald took over as No. 1, playing 49 games. He had 14 wins and a 3.37 goals-against average.

“Who would have known that was going to happen?” said MacDonald.

“It gave me an opportunity to kind of show that I can play. Over the last few years I’ve been up and down, and in and out of the lineup, and it was good to get an opportunity.”