The Florida Panthers appear to be set to head into the 2013-14 season with their current goaltending duo that is in place, with the young Jacob Markstrom taking over as the no. 1, while Scott Clemmensen takes his familiar spot on the bench as the no. 2 goaltender.
Despite the fact that there are questions about whether or not their goaltending depth is strong enough, the Panthers have not talked to veteran Jose Theodore at all this summer. Theodore, who revived his career with the Cats, is still an unrestricted free agent, as well as 37 years old.
To a certain extent, you can understand why the Panthers have not had any discussions with Theodore about bringing him back for another year. They want Markstrom to succeed as the no. 1, and Clemmensen is a capable backup, as long as he doesn’t have to make a number of consecutive starts.
Is this the right move by the Panthers, though? With Markstrom being no guarantee as a young netminder, and Clemmensen not being a guy you want starting for anything resembling the long term, should they talk with Theodore about a new deal? Despite a poor 2013 season, in which he was limited to only 14 starts, Theodore does still have some game left.
Which is why bringing him back could be a positive for the Panthers. You get a guy that is not only capable of starting a number of games in the event that Markstrom suffers and injury or implodes, but he can also push Markstrom and mentor him, as a guy who has been an elite starter in this league.
Name Markstrom the starter, bring Theodore back in a clear backup role, and you have a win-win on your hands if you’re the Florida Panthers. A cheap one-year deal shouldn’t be an issue for both sides to hammer out. After all, Theodore is still sitting at home as the end of August nears. There are no drawbacks from bringing him back, and it would be an upgrade to their current situation behind Markstrom.