How did that materialize? Which is the issue many Vancouver Canucks enthusiasts have been inquiring themselves when 19-calendar year-previous junior netminder Michael DiPietro observed himself in between the pipes for in their recent 7-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
When the Vancouver Canucks organization has extensive been regarded as a goalie graveyard, the team has witnessed its reasonable share of superb goaltending through the yrs. In Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider, enthusiasts have been dealt with to some of the online games best goaltending and a secure scenario in the crease. Early February of 2019, having said that, was the specific reverse.
The Canucks began off with the similar back again conclusion of the rink as very last year, not only have been they returning with the similar two goaltenders in Jacob Markstrom and Anders Nilsson, they also returned with the similar defence main — but that is a topic for one more time.
Neither Nilsson nor Markstrom created a strong scenario in 2017-18 to be the starting up netminder, this means the spot between the pipes this year was up for grabs. It was hoped that prospect Thatcher Demko could nab the backup posture, but spotty enjoy and a pre-year injuries ruled that risk out.
Markstrom would undergo an early-year injuries, setting him back again yet all over again and leaving the starting up posture to Nilsson for the time currently being, as very well as warranting a get in touch with up of Utica Comet’s netminder Richard Bachman. Bachman performed 1 game for the duration of his time with the team, falling to the Minnesota Wild in a lacklustre effort and hard work.
Soon after returning from injuries, Markstrom shortly solidified himself as a starting up netminder — rounding into a new observed type just ahead of the Christmas crack. December saw him put up a job-best .943 preserve proportion, and he has hardly slowed down considering the fact that then — sitting down at a .914 on the year, very well over league ordinary.
When Markstrom was lights it up for the Canucks, Demko was last but not least healthy and completely ready to assume his job as the Canucks backup. Nevertheless, the Canucks now faced the 1st of their goaltending problems — what to do with their then latest backup goalie, Nilsson.
The Canucks solved this issue, buying and selling Nilsson to the Ottawa Senators in a offer with Darren Archibald for Tom Pyatt, a sixth-spherical select, and insignificant league netminder Mike McKenna. This authorized the Canucks to get in touch with up Demko, and send out McKenna down to the AHL with the Comets.
The issue with McKenna was he would have to distinct waivers to get to Utica. Sadly for the Canucks, McKenna was claimed by the Philadelphia Flyers, leaving Vancouver with only two healthy goaltenders on NHL contracts, and Utica with ECHL degree netminder Ivan Kulbakov as the starter. The Comets would have to get in touch with on a series of other ECHL goalies to fill the void on PTO’s while Jim Benning and co appeared for a alternative.
Now with Markstrom and Demko in the NHL, the Canucks have been using a significant chance, and their scenario went from lousy to even worse after it was uncovered that Demko experienced suffered yet one more injuries. The Demko injuries brought on the emergency get in touch with up of Crew Canada environment junior goalie and 2018 draft select, Michael DiPietro.
Fresh new off disappointment in Vancouver as part of the environment juniors, the 19-calendar year-previous observed himself in the NHL. A single would imagine that the Canucks would go out and make a trade or signal a goaltender as shortly as attainable immediately after this, but rather, they determined to ride Markstrom hoping he would not falter.
Many suspected the Canucks have been ready for the flyers to waive McKenna, but that was never ever verified by the club, and indeed never ever happened.
Enter the fateful evening of February 11th, 2019, Markstrom was hurt and Canucks head coach Travis Inexperienced experienced no decision other than to toss the incredibly uncooked Dipietro into the internet to make his NHL debut towards 1 of the best groups in the NHL. It went about as very well as you’d anticipate. Initial shot? Objective. The evening didn’t get significantly much better, with DiPietro permitting 7 objectives on 24 photographs.
“Mikey” as DiPietro likes to be known as, admitted he wasn’t completely ready to be in the NHL just yet, but took the encounter in stride, providing a incredibly upbeat publish-game job interview irrespective of currently being shellacked by the opposition. It was DiPietro’s only commence for the duration of his time with the Canucks, and the organization is blessed for that.
Soon after struggling their next goaltending injuries issue of the calendar year, management last but not least observed a alternative to their problems. They traded the seventh-spherical select acquired for Michael Del Zotto to nab New York Rangers insignificant leaguer Marek Mazanec.
Not like McKenna, Mazanec did not demand waivers, permitting him to be instantly assigned to Utica. Nevertheless, irrespective of signing Mazanec, Utica continue to experienced Kulbakov as a backup. In reaction to this, the club signed 37-calendar year-previous Michael Leighton to a 1 calendar year NHL deal, providing him the backup AHL posture to shut out his journeyman job.
The Canucks did remedy their goaltending issues in the conclusion, and at time of creating have 4 healthy goalies on specialist contracts. The issue remains nevertheless — how did this materialize? It took 6 weeks and an uncomfortable PR scenario for Benning to remedy the issues.
If the trade for Mazanec was there, or Leighton was able to signal, why did it just take so extensive for the Canucks to remedy this issue? We will never ever know the specific respond to, no matter whether it was hoping for McKenna to turn into offered all over again, or some other explanation. What this whole bonanza did demonstrate was that this management team is great using dangers, but can at times lack foresight.
Anything is last but not least right now for the Canucks goaltending. Markstrom proceeds to be excellent as the starter, Demko has solidified himself as the backup, and Utica last but not least has two specialist goalies. All enthusiasts and players can hope for now is that a scenario like this never ever comes about all over again.