Columbus Blue Jackets claim goaltender Spencer Martin on waivers
Photo credit:© Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
2 months ago
Spencer Martin’s Vancouver Canucks tenure has come to a close. On Thursday, the club put him on waivers for the purpose of reassignment to Abbotsford, and on Friday, the Columbus Blue Jackets picked him up off of waivers.
At the very least, Martin should get the opportunity to serve as Elvis Merzlikins’ backup in Columbus, with a chance to take the starter’s role if Merzlikins struggles the way he did last year.
Originally acquired by the Canucks from the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2021 offseason, Martin spent two seasons in Vancouver. Upon arrival in Vancouver, many thought Maritn to be nothing more than organizational goaltender depth, as the then-26-year-old was looking like not much more than a career ECHL/AHL lifer.
Martin bought into what Ian Clark and the Canucks’ goaltending department were selling, and rebuilt his game from the ground up. This led to a career-best AHL save percentage in 2021-22 (at least 20 GP) and an ultra-impressive six-game NHL stint where Martin posted a .950 save percentage and goals against average of 1.74.
This was enough to earn Martin the first one-way NHL contract of his career, which guaranteed him $1.52 million by the end of the 2023-24 season.
After Thatcher Demko went down with an injury in December of last year, Martin, along with Colin Delia, was put in a position to try to carry the load behind a lacklustre Canucks defence for a good chunk of the year. This led to both players coming up short of expectations, and for Martin, it meant finishing the year in the AHL with the Abbotsford Canucks.
Hoping to avoid a similar situation, the Canucks traded Tanner Pearson to the Montreal Canadiens for proven NHL backup Casey DeSmith, who showed well in his preseason debut on Wednesday against the Edmonton Oilers.
Martin was always a pleasure to deal with whenever we spoke with him, and we wish him all the best in Columbus!
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