Training camp has started and goaltender Jacob Markstrom remains on the Vancouver Canucks’ roster. After signing Ryan Miller to a three-year, $18 million contract, GM Jim Benning explored the possibility of trading Markstrom, as they already had Eddie Lack penciled in as Miller’s backup.
That didn’t result in a move though, so the Canucks still have three goalies signed to one-way contracts. Markstrom might be able to wrestle the backup job away from Lack during training camp, but in either scenario Vancouver will have to risk losing a promising goalie on waivers, pull off a last-minute trade, or carry three goaltenders.
That last option typically leads to problems, but it’s a serious possibility in this situation.
“For sure we would (be comfortable with that),” head coach Willie Desjardins said, per the Vancouver Province.
“It’s a little tougher keeping three but we’ll need three this year at some time. You just have to believe that because of injuries.”
Certainly having a capable third goaltender is helpful, but ideally the third-string netminder is someone that is waiver exempt or otherwise unlikely to be claimed so that he can be stored in the minors. Still, Lack thinks that they can make this situation work even if it’s not ideal.
It helps that Lack and Markstrom are still young and have been battling to establish themselves for years, so while both of them are hungry for playing time, neither is likely coming into this with a sense of entitlement. In that vein, Markstrom has made it clear that he wants to stay in Vancouver despite the situation.