Jul 15, 2013, 5:51 PM EST
Financial terms are unclear at this moment.
Assistant GM Mike Santos confirms that the deal is two-way in the 2013-14 and then goes one-way in 2014-15. That would already be an interesting window into the Panthers’ goaltending plan, but Santos really spelled things out by telling Richards that they might look at another goalie if that netminder fits in their budget.
With Tim Thomas and Ilya Bryzgalov still on the market, it’s amusing to imagine them in John Vanbiesbrouck’s old Panthers mask, but it would be surprising if one of those two would come at the price they’re looking for.
(Not to mention play for a team that has only made the playoffs once in more than a decade.)
Santos said that the job won’t just be handed to Markstrom, 23, although it seems like the big Swede has the leg up on Scott Clemmensen.
His first extended bit of NHL play wasn’t exactly a smash success; Markstrom went 8-14-1 with a .901 save percentage and 3.22 GAA in 23 games in 2013.
Thanks to the structure of this new contract, the Panthers could opt to send him back to the AHL for more seasoning if he struggles again in 2013-14. They can also do so if they find that budget netminder Santos alluded to.
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