Canucks could have crease crisis
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Wanted but unsigned, Miller has already been discussing his options with other National Hockey League teams and increasingly insiders believe the start of free agency will mark the end of his career as a Canuck.Maybe the Canucks have a final push in them, but the best guess lately has been Miller to Anaheim, a team with Stanley Cup aspirations in a city which meets Miller desire to stay close to his wife (Noureen DeWulf) and her acting career in Los Angeles.A Tuesday report suggested Miller is expected to end up there in a backup role Throwback Los Angeles Rams Jerseys Are Cheap Offering on a one year, $1 million deal.Something like that would be considered a big blow for the Canucks 2017 18 plan, which has long included Miller, because Vancouver doesn appear ready for the untethered Jacob Markstrom era just yet. And on some levels you can see why.Markstrom has never started more than 30 NHL games in a season and in the 23 he did last year, he was a little below average and a touch underwhelming.In his two years in Vancouver, Markstrom started 53 games and had a .913 save percentage. For comparison, in Eddie Lack two seasons with the Canucks he started 72 games and had a .917 save percentage.Markstrom is now 27 years old. He has a career .906 save percentage. It would be entirely legitimate to step back, look at him with a big picture, wide angled lens and wonder if he ever going to be a real No. 1 in the NHL.This is not entirely on Markstrom, to be sure. One of the clear and tangible missteps of head coach Willie Desjardins was not playing him enough, especially last season when he refused to give Markstrom much more than an inch.He certainly never considered Markstrom a viable option as the starter when Miller was active.The need for Swede: Don’t count on the Sedins going anywhere soonJason Botchford: Losing Sbisa to Vegas allows Canucks to reshape blue lineThing is, a year before the coach successfully split the job between Miller and Markstrom in the final six weeks of the season, but he chose to regress Markstrom rather than to try to expand his workload.On a team desperate to get younger, the 36 year old Miller received three quarters of the starts when both he and the guy a decade younger than him were healthy.Last season setup seemed to be the plan from the jump, too, because before training camp GM Jim Benning announced Miller was the team No. 1. Truthfully, the team would have been just fine if the pair had been permitted to battle for starts.If Miller now springboards to California, it would force the Canucks to jump on a wild goalie merry go round.Up to 13 teams are expected to be in the market for a goalie. cheap 49ers jerseys Most will be looking for a backup, but a handful of those teams will be in the same situation as a Miller less Canucks organization, that is trying to sign someone who can be counted on to start more than 30 games.Good thing there a ton of options out there. There will be a choice.Expected to be available are proven veterans like Steve Mason, Chad Johnson and Brian Elliott, who most closely fit with what Miller could bring.There is then another level of short term veterans who should be available, including Jonathan Bernier, Mike Condon, Anders Nilsson and Keith Kincaid.There is also a really intriguing Wholesale hockey Jerseys option in Washington restricted free agent backup Philipp Grubauer who it believed will be moved because the Capitals can afford to sign him after he posted a .926 save percentage in 19 starts.Grubauer is 25 years old, and has loads of upside, something the Canucks may want to think about especially if they don really believe in Markstrom.The problem, of course, is that it would cost an asset to trade for Grubauer and that would be as welcomed in this city as two straight weeks of rain in mid July.The Canucks could also consider a Richard Bachman Markstrom duo, as Bachman is already signed.There is one more scenario that has to be mentioned, and it the most intriguing of them all.It expected the Carolina Hurricanes are going to buyout Lack contract. The former Canuck can probably be had this off season at an incredibly discounted price tag.Lack had his most success in Vancouver, and bringing him back isn as crazy as it might sound. He can absolutely work with Markstrom, and returning to Vancouver would help him in his effort to re discover the game that had John Tortorella tapping him for big games over Roberto Luongo.