With the free agent period quitely strolling along, the Florida Panthers made a move bigger then most people think. The signing of Scott Clemmensen has left Jacob Markstrom wondering, when will it be his time to finally play in the NHL. Although Markstrom is still relatively long, it goes without saying that Markstrom could start in the NHL tomorrow if he had too.
Clemmensen was signed the other day to a two year one way contract for about 1.2 million dollars each year. So for you math freaks, thats about 2.4 million dollars for two years. Kind of similar to Jose Theodore’s contract that he signed with the Florida Panthers last season, except Theodore will be making 1.5 million this season. So again, if you do the math, Theodore’s contract will terminate after this upcoming 2012-2013 season; while Clemmensen’s contract won’t terminate till the 2013-2014 season. Could this mean we don’t see Markstrom as the full time starter for two more years? Quite possibly.
Coming into this offseason, many people believed that Clemmensen was on his way out and Markstrom would back up Theodore in his final season with the Panthers. But GM Dale Tallon fell in love with Clemmensen and his ability to win some games for us last season, so he strongly pushed for Clemmensen to return, even if it might cost Markstrom playing another season in the AHL. Not to mention that Markstroms Entry Level Contract finishes up this upcoming season which his could result in the Panthers playing with fire if they continue to delay Markstrom’s entrance into the NHL.
Both Assistant GM Mike Santos and Dale Tallon have been quoted too saying that they would like Markstrom to actually complete a full season of professional hockey with the AHL affiliate San Antontio Rampage, before actually getting the full time job in the NHL. I have nothing wrong with that, due to the fact that Markstrom has had quite a bit of work done to heal some injuries up. The question is whether Markstrom can play a full season before the Panthers want to invest big money on this highly talented goaltender.
I really thought that Clemmensen was going to have to find work elsewhere, but I was clearly wrong. I pray that Jacob Markstrom understands what the Florida Panthers are doing and stays patient. He has high expectations the organization, the fans and basically the whole NHL. The NHL world knows who Markstrom is, and I’m sure some are shocked that he won’t be in the NHL next year. Barring any injury, it seems destined that Markstrom will be with the Rampage most of the season next year. Goaltending was not an issue for the Florida Panthers last season, but it could become an issue if Markstrom is unhappy and becomes indifferent about resigning with the Florida Panthers. I pray it won’t be an issue, but this 6’6 swede needs to get into the NHL soon, this kid is going to be a superstar in the NHL for many years, and I hope it’s down here in S.Florida.
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