Scott Clemmensen is off the market, reports Andy Strickland of TrueHockey.com. The 34-year-old goalie has come to terms with the Florida Panthers on a two-year contract.
“Scott is a high-character, hard-working player who is a true professional in every sense,” said general manager Dale Tallon. “He stepped in and played very well in some tough games for us last season, including recording wins against Los Angeles, Vancouver, San Jose, Washington and Philadelphia. We are very pleased to have him back with our club and look forward to his continued contributions to our organization both on and off the ice.”
A few things about this deal:
First, Clemmensen was one of the top pending UFA goalies, which says more about the thinness of the market than the player. He (.915 save percentage) only started 25 games last season, and he’s never started more than 39.
Second, it leaves the Panthers with two goalies under contract. Jose Theodore has one year left on his deal, and according to CapGeek.com, he also has a no-trade clause. So does that take Florida out of the Robert Luongo sweepstakes? Unless Theodore is part of a trade with the Canucks, it would seem to.
Finally, if Luongo (and his $5.3 million cap hit) isn’t coming to the Panthers, it frees up money to spend on other players. Like, perhaps, defenseman Jason Garrison.
Update: ESPN’s Craig Custance reports the Clemmensen deal doesn’t rule out a Luongo trade to Florida.