When Scott Clemmensen went in for a minor knee procedure, it opened the door for Tyler Plante and Jacob Markstrom to compete for the temporary job as the backup goalie to Jose Theodore in Florida.
With both Plante and Markstrom being former second round picks by the Panthers, it was a battle between prospects with different expectations as Plante is three years older than Markstrom and Markstrom being marked as the future golden boy for the Panthers organization.
With all that said, the temporary backup job goes to… Jacob Markstrom. Tyler Plante was placed on waivers for the purpose of sending him to the AHL meaning that Markstrom will start the year with the new look Panthers and back up Theodore. Markstrom will likely get to start one or two games before Clemmensen makes his return to action so this isn’t exactly earth-shattering news.
Still for Markstrom, he’ll get the chance to show coach Kevin Dineen and GM Dale Tallon what he’s learned during the offseason. He got the chance to start in one game late last season for Florida giving up two goals and taking a loss against Tampa Bay. If Markstrom plays impressively, he’ll head back to San Antonio giving the Panthers a lot to think about going forward. Markstrom will need a lot of action again this year to get his game into form but earning the win over Plante in camp means good things for him as he evolves into an eventual NHL starting goalie.
When you’re the backup goalie heading into the season, preparing for the year to either split time with the starter or potentially prove you can carry the bulk of the load is part of the job. Going down with an injury helps open the door for the young guys to show they can take over. Such is the case in Florida as backup goalie Scott Clemmensen will be out of action for up to a month after having a procedure done on his wonky knee.
With Clemmensen down and Jose Theodore slotted in as the starting goalie for the Panthers, it’s up to the Florida youth to help step up and provide support.
The two leading candidates to take Clemmensen’s spot are Tyler Plante and highly-touted prospect Jacob Markstrom. Plante was a second round pick of the Panthers back in 2005 while Markstrom was a second round pick in 2008. Plante is three years older while Markstrom comes with higher hopes for the organization. So who has the edge to fill the position? George Richards of On Frozen Pond thinks he’s got a bead on the competition.
Clemmensen was supposed to start Tuesday against the Dallas Stars but now it looks like Tyler Plante will get that look.
So, with the Panthers going into the season with Clemmensen out, don’t be surprised if it is Plante who stays and Jacob Markstrom who heads down to the AHL.
Regarding playing time at both levels, keeping Markstrom in the AHL would make sense as he’d be San Antonio’s starter and play every game for the Rampage. Plante being a bit more experienced and perhaps not as much in need of consistent starts or appearances would be an apt fill in for Clemmensen in the NHL in the meantime. Plante has yet to make an appearance in the NHL, but should he get the call over Markstrom, he’d be able to get at least one start in before Clemmensen returns.
If Markstrom is the Panthers’ choice, it’d make for a curious one as he’s just 21 years-old and still in need of seeing a lot of game time. Markstrom did make one appearance for the Panthers last season late in the year giving up two goals to the Lightning in a loss. Markstrom is the guy the organization has high hopes of being their eventual number one goalie, but that’s not likely to start to happen this year with both Theodore and Clemmensen (when healthy) around.
How coach Kevin Dineen sees things play out the rest of the preseason will be a curious one to see how the Panthers opt to go with their backup situation. Plante seems to make more sense, but Markstrom’s future with the franchise could force the organization to want to see him at the next level and how he stacks up now.