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NHL Rumors: With Clemmensen out, Panthers looking for goalie

By Brian Stubits | Hockey writer

With Clemmensen out, Markstrom is the only Panther goalie with NHL experience. (USATSI)
With Clemmensen out, Markstrom is the only Panther goalie with NHL experience. (USATSI)

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Coming into the season the Florida Panthers already have one of the shakiest goalie tandems in the NHL with the still pretty unproven Jacob Markstrom and Scott Clemmensen, who is coming off a horrendous season. It has become even shakier.

Clemmensen underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee, Panthers GM Dale Tallon said on Sunday. While the surgery will only keep him out for three weeks, that cuts into training camp time and pushes his timeframe for a return right around opening night. That's not ideal to say the least, no matter how comfortable they might be with Markstrom.

The result is that Tallon is on the lookout for another goaltender, preferably a veteran. Just don't look for it to be an expensive veteran per Harvey Filakov of the Sun-Sentinel.

The Panthers won't be looking for high-priced free-agent goalies such as Ilya Bryzgalov or Tim Thomas, but could be interested in affordable veterans such as Mathieu Garon, 35, and Rick Dipietro, 31.

When was the last time you heard Dipietro and not high-priced in the same sentence? These are strange times, you guys.

Either way, it's interesting and at this point who wouldn't like to see Dipietro get one more shot? However I doubt a guy such as Bryzgalov would command a lot of money at this point either with such limited options.

Even if Clemmensen were healthy it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Panthers try and get another goaltender in at least on a tryout. Markstrom should be the starter but he also signed a two-way deal for this coming season.

We all know this with the Panthers; they have the cap room to make any signing but they don't necessarily have the money. Hence going the cheapest route, which could ultimately lead to a call to Garon or perhaps another goalie not listed (and not named Jose Theodore, who the Panthers let walk earlier this summer).

Last season Clemmensen had an .874 save percentage and a 3.67 goals against average. The expectation is he will be behind Markstrom who had a .901 save percentage with a 3.22 GAA. Of course both played behind a young, depleted roster that was not good on the back end.

 
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