Clemmensen’s future is uncertain as rehab begins

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Florida Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmensen underwent a minor surgery and will take part in a few rehab starts in AHL San Antonio after clearing waivers. What happens after that is anyone’s guess.

The Florida Panthers have signed Tim Thomas, so Clemmensen’s road back into the Panthers’ roster seems to be blocked. It’s always possible that the Panthers will chose to send 23-year-old Jacob Markstrom back to the minors, but that would be counterintuitive given that Thomas is suppose to mentor the younger goaltender.

“As of next Monday, our management staff will sit down and talk about what’s best for our team,” Panthers coach Kevin Dineen told the Miami Herald.

“We expect our goaltending to be a strength this year. But this is all talk. Let’s play and let things sort themselves out.”

It’s worth noting that just because Clemmensen cleared waivers doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no interest in him. He’s still a solid backup when healthy, but his $1.2 million cap hit might have been the sticking point at this early stage of the season. If Florida want to move him, they might be able to if they agree to retain a portion of that cap hit.

Clemmensen is 36 years old and in the final season of his contract, so if he gets little to no playing time in the NHL this season, it might be particularly hard for him to earn a new one-way deal over the summer.