The Vancouver Canucks needed a goaltender, and they needed one now. Instead of waiting for a chance to reclaim someone like Mike McKenna, the team has traded for New York Rangers netminder Marek Mazanec. The Canucks will send a 2020 seventh-round pick to the Rangers.
Vancouver had been using junior goaltender Michael DiPietro as their backup recently, and even gave the 19-year old a start yesterday. It didn’t go well as DiPietro allowed seven goals on 24 shots against the Western Conference-leading San Jose Sharks. Keeping their prized young goaltender in the NHL to sit on the bench or get shelled by competition he’s never seen before just isn’t a good development strategy, meaning the Canucks needed to add another body of some sort.
Mazanec will become that body, as he too doesn’t bring a ton of NHL experience to the table. The 27-year old has played 31 games in the league but 25 of those appearances came back in 2013-14 with the Nashville Predators. After heading overseas for a short period last season, Mazanec returned and has a .903 save percentage in 20 games for the Hartford Wolf Pack. There’s little reason to believe that he will be a long-term solution in Vancouver, but at this point the team will take what they can get.
Vancouver has also recalled Adam Gaudette from the minor leagues, giving them a full 23-man roster as they prepare for a road trip through California.