Florida Panthers (prohibitive) backup goalie Scott Clemmensen has had a shaky couple weeks, but the good news is that his rehab from knee surgery appears to be on track, the Miami Herald reports.
The 36-year-old netminder received extra motivation to get back on the ice quickly thanks to Tim Thomas’ professional tryout, although Clemmensen claims he’s not bothered by the presence of a two-time Vezina winner.
“This is nothing new for me,” Clemmensen said. “I’ve been through just about everything you can think of in my career. You just play the best you can; I don’t make the decisions so I can’t worry about it.”
Clemmensen’s real ace in the hole might just be the flexibility of Jacob Markstrom’s contract.
Like any self-respecting goalie, Markstrom, 23, wants to be a full-time goalie now. The Panthers wisely structured his contract so it goes from two-way (in 2013-14) then one-way the next (2014-15), so GM Dale Tallon & Co. can decide to give him more seasoning in the AHL without waiver worries.
They can also move Markstrom in and out of the lineup depending on how the franchise’s other goalies perform, making for some great competition that could – ideally – help the Panthers be competitive after an atrocious 2013 campaign.
None of Florida’s trio of netminders probably feels truly comfortable, yet that might just be a good thing. If nothing else, Clemmensen seems like he could be healthy enough to give himself an honest shot.