In 2013, the Vancouver Canucks, then under former general manager Mike Gillis, had goalies Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo and decided to send the former to New Jersey for the ninth overall pick.
In 2015, Jim Benning, entering his second year as the Canucks’ GM, is facing a similar decision in the goaltending department with the first round of the NHL Draft now just six days away. It’s not a Schneider-Luongo situation, but with Vancouver needing draft picks, and three goalies with varying degrees of NHL experience and success in Ryan Miller, Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom, a decision looms.
The Canucks select 23rd overall, but as of right now, they don’t have another pick until the fourth round in what is considered to be a deep draft.
Benning made it known immediately after the trade deadline that he’d like to recoup picks for the draft.
Markstrom, who was the backbone for the Utica Comets in their run to the AHL championship series, is a pending restricted free agent. Lack has one year remaining on his current deal, which is cap-friendly at $1.15 million.
Ben Kuzma of The Province reported this week that Benning has taken trade calls from other teams on both Markstrom and Lack.
Any potential move the Canucks make at this position might be dependent on what, if anything, happens with New York goalie Cam Talbot. Previous reports had as many as six teams having “some interest” in Talbot.
“There’s good depth in the second round and I’d like to have a second-round pick but it’s a balancing act for us,” Benning told The Province newspaper in Vancouver.
“It might not be a pick but a way of making our team better — we’re looking at all options. But I think I’ll be able to figure something out on that (draft pick) because when one goalie goes, they’re going to move on to the next guy. We’re waiting for the domino effect.”