Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom requested a trade after the team signed veteran Ryan Miller to take over as starter, reports Jason Botchford of The Province. The Canucks have already begun working to satisfy the request, with at least three teams showing interest in the 24-year-old.
General manager Jim Benning even spoke on the matter, as Botchford passes on:
“That situation could work itself out over the summer. The teams that are interested may have to move out another guy. We’re exploring that for Jacob. But if that doesn’t happen, Jacob comes to camp. He has a good attitude. He understands the situation.”
Markstrom was originally acquired earlier this year as part of the deal that sent Roberto Luongo to Florida. He finished the season splitting time in Vancouver with Eddie Lack, but appears to be out of the mix after the team signed Miller for three years and $18 million earlier this week.
And rather than return to the AHL, where Markstrom has spent significant time already, he’s pushing for a trade to a team that will keep him in the NHL. Given his youth and relatively cheap cap hit ($1.2 million), it’s likely there will be several suitors depending on Vancouver’s trade demands.
Originally drafted early in the second round of the 2008 draft — No. 31 overall — Markstrom had his breakout with the Panthers in 2012-13. That year, he finished 14th in Calder Trophy voting after posting a 8-14-1 record, .901 save percentage and 3.22 GAA in 23 games with the Panthers.
During the offseason, Florida signed Tim Thomas, and Markstrom ended up in the backup role. He fell apart from there, and didn’t look much better after the deal to Vancouver. On the season, he was 1-6-3 with a .873 save percentage and 3.39 GAA.
So he’ll need to convince teams that last season was an aberration, something Vancouver wasn’t willing to risk. Instead, the team committed big money to Miller, allowing Lack to take over as backup. With Markstrom as the odd man out, and the Canucks needing every bit of cap space they can muster, expect a deal relatively soon.