The Florida Panthers liked the backup goaltending of Scott Clemmensen so much, they have elected to keep him around a little longer. The Panthers re-signed Clemmensen to a two-year contract on Sunday, keeping the goaltending tandem together.
Clemmensen fared well behind Jose Theodore this season, filling in well when Theodore was injured or just struggling, as he did in the first-round playoff series against the New Jersey Devils. He posted a 2.57 goals against average and a .913 save percentage. You can get worse than that, especially for a backup.
"Scott is a high-character, hard-working player who is a true professional in every sense," GM Dale Tallon said. "He stepped in and played very well in some tough games for us last season, including recording wins against Los Angeles, Vancouver, San Jose, Washington and Philadelphia. We are very pleased to have him back with our club and look forward to his continued contributions to our organization both on and off the ice."
Now usually, the signing of a backup goaltender isn't incredibly noteworthy, even if Clemmensen is arguably the top goaltender available in free agency. This one, though, comes with an extra layer of heavy intrigue.
You'll recall that the Canucks are trying to trade Roberto Luongo and the former Panthers goaltender is reportedly interested in coming back to Florida and only Florida. Well before re-signing Clemmensen it seemed to be certainly possibly from Florida's end, they only had one goalie under contract, excluding Jacob Markstrom who they would prefer to keep in the AHL.
Now, though, the question is if this puts an end to the speculation of Luongo returning to Florida? The Panthers have their goalies and honest, they weren't bad last year. Just look at the statistics, the combination of Theodore and Clemmensen might surprise you.
It possibly puts the Canucks in a very tough situation here with a goalie who wants out of town. If there most realistic option for a trade partner no longer has a need for a goalie, then what next? It's still possible I suppose that Luongo could be traded back to Florida, but this would seem to poke a massive hole in the boat that is keeping the rumor afloat.
Who though the signing of a backup could mean so much?
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