Sometimes the best-laid plans don’t work out and that seems to have happened for the Canucks this morning.
The organization had acquired goaltender Mike McKenna from the Ottawa Senators that saw Anders Nilsson go the other way. The plan was to have McKenna back up Jacob Markstrom in the game against Ottawa, last night against Montreal, and then send him down to Utica after he cleared waivers today with Thatcher Demko coming up. Well, that last part hit a snag:
PHI claims McKenna
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 4, 2019
This now means that the Canucks have two healthy goaltenders signed to contracts in Markstrom and Demko and no one available in Utica with Richard Bachman currently injured. The organization does have Ivan Kulbakov on an AHL deal but will have to find someone to back him up for the time being.
It was a good plan in theory but ultimately didn’t get all the way there and really throws a curve ball into how the Canucks can map out the season and how well they can help out Utica. Now the Canucks have to tread carefully with how they handle things because if an injury occurs to Markstrom or Demko in the near future, they will have no choice but to emergency recall Michael DiPietro to the NHL (and then send him back when they come back).
I’d expect that the organization will look at ways in the near future to help with the depth at the position and it’s fair to believe that teams will be willing to trade a goalie for a future asset, but that is where the issue comes up. If the Canucks do have to give up any sort of asset to get a goalie, then they aren’t really any further ahead in that aspect than they were earlier this week.
With that being said, Jared Coreau was traded earlier this week for future considerations, so it is possible that they can find a way out of it without giving up tangible pieces. It just means that they are treading a thin line for the next little bit.
As for McKenna, his time with the Canucks was brief but he continues to make an NHL salary over an AHL salary. If the Flyers place him on waivers again, the Canucks can explore claiming him back and if they are the only claiming team, send him straight to Utica.
We’ll just have to see how it plays out over the next few weeks.