Folks, the year 2020 is upon us, and with the dawning of a new decade comes perhaps the dawning of yet another crease controversy in Vancouver – and, at the very least, a series of difficult netminding decisions.
As a pending unrestricted free agent, Jacob Markstrom can be offered a new contract at any point now, though details about any actual negotiations have been scarce. Though Markstrom has once again been among the team’s more valuable players, and though a vocal segment of the fanbase would like to see him re-signed at any cost, it may not be quite so simple as giving him what he’s worth. The starter-quality goaltending of Thatcher Demko, the professional success of Mike DiPietro, the realities of the salary cap, and the impending arrival of the Seattle TBAs all greatly complicate the situation – and there are no easy answers.
Whether the Canucks decide on a path forward immediately by making a transaction – or by letting Markstrom walk, an unpleasant possibility – or whether they postpone the decision by re-signing Markstrom, a choice will have to be made at some point before the 2021 Expansion Draft.
Hard questions will need to be asked in the interim, and as the goaltender with the most contract uncertainty heading into 2020, all of the answers are going to center around Jacob Markstrom.
With that, we ask you:
What would you do with Jacob Markstrom and his impending free agency?
Last week, we asked you:
What New Year’s Resolutions would you set for the Vancouver Canucks?
Given that the article dropped on Christmas, it’s understandable that responses were sparse.
Resolve to score the first goal!
Resolution for all forwards: No more friendly-fire on your goalies. Please.
Resolution for someone with the initials L.E.: If you’re skating at practice and find yourself running into what appears to be a 6’4 roadblock, don’t run it down. It’s probably your goalie. Thanks, The Management.
Fortunately, this author also happened to write a list of resolutions for the entire team, so we’ll copy and paste those here to pad out the rest of this piece – and wish you all the best in 2020!
Should make an anti-resolution, and just promise to remain Elias Pettersson in 2020.
Should resolve to try going by “Jon Miller” for a while, just to see what it feels like. It’s the sort of name that is so plain, it’s exciting.
Should resolve to commit his first act of evil. Vandalize public property, steal a chocolate bar, kick over a mailbox. Just do anything to prove that he has the capacity for something other than wholesomeness.
Should resolve to kickstart the “Road Goals Matter, Too” public awareness campaign.
— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) December 24, 2019
Should resolve to stop “falling” into the boards so hard that his knee shatters. Alternatively, Leivo could resolve to kickstart the “George Parros, Pull Your Head Out Of Your Ass” public awareness campaign.
Should resolve to find a word that describes his scoring rate and has fewer negative connotations than “streaky.” Maybe mercurial? Seasonal? Mason Raymond-esque?
Should resolve to prove his geek cred by adopting a tattoo/celly combo of a more obscure DC Comics hero. Might we suggest Booster Gold or Matter-Eater Lad?
New nickname idea for Adam Gaudette after his Superman-inspired celly last night: God-Et.
(For the non-nerds, that's his name in the Kryptonian parlance.)
— Stephan Roget (@StephanRoget) September 26, 2019
Should resolve to incorporate his home country’s history in more of his goal celebrations. Make a human Eiffel Tower with teammates. Mime chopping off the opposing goaltender’s head with a guillotine. Storm the penalty box, Bastille-style. That sort of thing.
Should resolve to save his first career hattrick for a weekend game, for the sake of his most dedicated fans.
Should resolve to get into even more post-whistle scrums. Basically, to never not be starting a fracas when play is not in session. We want Beagle shoving people in the hallways during intermissions in the year 2020.
— Maple Leafs Hotstove (@LeafsNews) December 11, 2019
Should resolve to adopt the trademark move of the player he was traded for, Thomas Vanek. Honestly, we just want to see more breakaway clappers in 2020, no matter who they come from.
Should resolve to swap bodies with the much more durable Tim Schaller through some sort of mind-switching plot, just like Doctor Octopus did to Spider-Man in the comics.
Should resolve to not let Brandon Sutter swap bodies with him. Also, to stand next to Tyler Motte in more photos, because it’s a really flattering look for him.
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) December 25, 2019
Should resolve to make funny faces at the in-arena cameras until he wins fans over with another classic meme, thus restoring his reputation and reigniting his career.
Should resolve to only drop the mitts against those players who couldn’t possibly injure him. We’re talking Ferland vs. Gaudreau. Ferland vs. Rocco Grimaldi. Ferland vs. a wined-up Wayne Gretzky.
Should resolve to still be paid less than $900K on his next contract, which would all but cement a permanent spot for him on the cap-strapped 2020/21 Canucks.
Should resolve to actually put his full weight into it when he inevitably collides with Mike Smith again this year.
— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) March 24, 2019
Should resolve to not get moved at the Trade Deadline because he’s too valuable to part with – and not just because he’s injured like in every other season.
Should resolve to finally pass that other star rookie defenseman in the scoring race, just so that he can look at the rookie point totals and ask “Dude, where’s Makar?” If that’s not possible, then he should resolve to look less high in all his candid photos.
Should resolve to learn how to balance the puck on top of his head and skate it all the way up the ice. We don’t think this breaks any current NHL rules, and it might just be the perfect breakout plan.
Should resolve to make it through the next three broadcasts without explicitly being referenced as “Jamie’s brother.” And speaking of family, a resolution to listen to his mother more wouldn’t hurt.
Jamie and Jordie Benn got visors for Christmas from their Mother . pic.twitter.com/jzjG0VH2V2
— World Hockey Report (@worldhockeyrpt) December 26, 2019
Should resolve to sign an inflated contract in the 2020 offseason so that he can finally justify getting those inflated blueline minutes.
Should resolve to come up with a nickname that does not involve Fanta. Maybe Fun-tenberg? Fanty Pants? #FantenOfTheOpera?
Should resolve to get in a goalie fight in 2020 – because, honestly, is there any netminder in the league that Markstrom wouldn’t absolutely destroy? (Also, a Vezina vote or two wouldn’t hurt)
Should resolve to mute the words “Expansion” and “Seattle” from his Twitter timeline until at least October of 2021.
Should resolve to wash his gloves, since all anyone talks about is how stinky they are.
Should resolve to go easy on the Ben and Jerry’s while wistfully watching the WJC.
Should resolve to try-out for the Vancouver Warriors.
Should resolve to convince David Quadrelli and Chris Faber to find 77 more reasons he deserves a call-up.
Should resolve to finally settle on a first name. Mike, Michael, or Mikey – what’s it going to be?
Should resolve to be less honest in 2020. This might sound like a horrible resolution, but at the very least we need him to stop announcing his trading intentions to the media and every other general manager in the league.
Should resolve to call more coach’s challenges, because he might just be the best in the league at winning them. He should also resolve to continue getting caught on camera winking and laughing, so that he can finally approach Alain Vigneault levels of popularity.
Should resolve to finally update the seats in Rogers Arena, which continue to sport the colour of the team’s least beloved jersey.
Worked some photoshop magic and can confirm that blue seats would rock at Rogers Arena…
— Vanessa Jang (@vanessajang) December 20, 2019