The Canucks didn't make any major moves at the NHL trade deadline, but their one minor move has major implications.
General manager Jim Benning snuck one deal in under the deadline, acquiring goaltender Louis Domingue from the New Jersey Devils, with Utica Comets goaltender Zane McIntyre going the other way. Since goaltending was the furthest thing from the minds of Canucks fans heading into the deadline, it seemed like an odd move.
According to Patrick Johnston of the Province, however, the move was made in response to a potential injury for Jacob Markstrom. Johnston cited sources that say Markstrom had an MRI in Montreal on his knee and will miss some time.
Source tells me Canucks trading for Louis Domingue is because of concerns over a knee problem for Jacob Markstromhttps://t.co/YaMy8VC7MH— Patrick Johnston (@risingaction) February 24, 2020
That's potentially devastating news for the Canucks, who have heavily leaned on Markstrom this season, to the point that he wasn't just getting buzz for the Vezina trophy as the NHL's best goaltender, but the Hart as the MVP.
TSN 1040 radio hosts Don Taylor and Bob "the Moj" Marjonovich are reporting that Markstrom could be out three to four weeks.
Donnie and the Moj hearing Markstrom could be out anywhere from 3-4 weeks with knee injury.#TSN1040— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) February 24, 2020
Domingue has been a below-league-average goaltender at the NHL level over the course of his career, but he at least has significant NHL experience, with 138 games played at the NHL level. That trumps McIntyre's eight games of NHL experience and provides a safety net for the Canucks that should keep goalie Michael DiPietro starting for the Comets in the AHL.
If Markstrom misses a significant amount of time, goalie Thatcher Demko will need to be on top of his game for the Canucks to compete for the playoffs. Domingue will presumably get called up to the Canucks as Demko's backup, while Jake Kielly will likely join the Utica Comets from the ECHL to backup DiPietro, since Richard Bachman was loaned to IK Oskarshamn of the SHL recently.