In response to goaltender Scott Clemmensen undergoing minor knee surgery that will likely sideline him for about three weeks, Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon is looking to add a veteran goaltender.
“There will be a lot of transactions during this training camp,” Tallon told the Sun Sentinel. “We’re looking at every possibility, the waiver wire, trades, free agents, whatever we can do to improve.”
There are certainly some intriguing options on the free agent market, including Ilya Bryzgalov, Tim Thomas, and former Panthers goaltender Jose Theodore. The problem with any of them is that Clemmensen is only projected to be the backup goaltender and might end up missing little to no playing time, so it’s hardly an ideal situation for netminders with that kind of experience and standing.
Instead the Panthers might seek a goaltender that would be warm to joining their training camp roster on a tryout basis and possibly even agreeing to start the season in the AHL. Rick DiPietro, who is trying to work his way back into the NHL, might be an example of the type of goaltender they’re seeking.
If Clemmensen isn’t available for the season opener, then 23-year-old Jacob Markstrom would remain the team’s projected starting goaltender. Based on their current training camp roster, 20-year-old netminder Michael Houser would seem to be a strong contender to start the campaign as the number two netminder despite the fact that he has no AHL or NHL experience.
Another possibility is 25-year-old Rob Madore, who spent four seasons with the University of Vermont. He has only nine games worth of experience in the AHL, but he does have a 1.83 GAA and .951 save percentage at that level.