The Vancouver Canucks announced today that goaltender Jacob Markstrom has been granted a personal leave. This leave comes for family reasons. GM Jim Benning also said that Markstrom will rejoin the team on their road trip this weekend. No details of the issue have been released but we hope everything is well with Markstrom and his family. The Canucks have recalled Zane McIntyre in the meantime to backup Thatcher Demko.
“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.” – GM Jim Benning
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 14, 2019
Jacob Markstrom Out on Personal Leave
Jacob Markstrom has started all four games for the Canucks this season. He has led them to a 2-2 record to start the year. This likely means Demko will get his first and second start of the year as the team plays twice this week before the weekend comes.
Markstrom has been an underrated starter in the past few years for the Canucks. He’s not the type of guy who is in the Vezina voting but he is a very solid goalie. Last season, he started 60 games and had a .912 save percentage and a 2.77 goals-against average. For a Vancouver team that had some obvious flaws in it last season, these were really solid numbers.
This year, he has posted a .926 and a 2.23 goals-against average in four games. He has remained solid and his a huge part of this Vancouver team if they want to make playoffs this year.
Now, Demko will have a chance to prove he can help Markstrom out by taking some of the load. Load management is critical in the NHL and if a team can have a solid backup that can go a long way. Look for the 23-year old to hold down the fort until Markstrom gets back. It is good to hear this is only a short-term thing for Markstrom and hopefully, everything is alright now and moving forward.