The Vancouver Canucks were forced into some roster changes on Thanksgiving Monday morning.
“Jacob Markstrom has been granted a leave of absence to attend to a family matter and is expected to rejoin the Canucks on the road this weekend. Respectfully, we will not offer any further comment.” -Benning
Jacob Markstrom was unavailable for media following the Canucks’ shootout victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. This led many reporters to speculate that he may be battling an injury, however, it is still not 100% clear that is not the case.
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With the absence of Markstrom, the Canucks will be forced into giving goaltender Thatcher Demko a game, which will be his first in his first full NHL season.
In the corresponding move, the Canucks have called up summer free agent signing Zane McIntyre. The former Providence Bruin has a .903 save percentage through two games with the Utica Comets this season. It is interesting that he is the man called up, as the hockey club could have opted to bring in veteran Richard Bachman.
Bachman did appear in a few games for Vancouver last year around this time, and it’s fair to say they did not go as well. McIntyre is 27 and is an AHLer at best, but the club hopes that he will be better than Bachman was if he is thrown into action.
In the case of Markstrom, the fact that he is expected to rejoin the Canucks on the road is a good one. Hopefully, this means that the issue, whatever it may be is resolved in fast fashion. The Canucks are doing good in granting his leave of absence because in the end, family comes first, and hockey is just a game.
It will be intriguing to see how Demko handles his first string of starts in the NHL. the Canucks will need the young netminder to play as well as Markstrom if the team is to continue their newfound success. It is good that Demko will get some game time, as he has yet to see the ice through Vancouver’s first four games this season.
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The goaltending moves may be forced, but on the hockey side of things, it will offer another reason to watch this Vancouver Canucks team. Off the ice, The Canuck Way wishes the Markstrom family all the best and hopes that everybody finds their way out of this difficult situation in the best possible way.