Disclaimer - I had long ago personally concluded that this wasn't going to happen, but such is the life of a blogger: AHL San Antonio netminder Jacob Markstrom was recalled by the Panthers Wednesday morning.
Whether this move indicates an injury to one of Jose Theodore or Scott Clemmensen isn't yet known (given their overall play so far, that assumption wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility), nor if Markstrom is being utilized to "push" the current tandem's compete level. Or possibly a trade package is being developed. It's early, and the Cats don't play until Thursday night against the Flyers. So commence with the speculation.
Whatever the case, The Alien has a 16-15-2 record with the Rampage in 2013 resulting in a 2.65/.920 and 3 shutouts. He's been healthy, and the knee issues which dogged him for the better portion of two earlier seasons appear to be history.
Dov-Grumet Morris becomes the defacto #1 in SA, with a likely recall slated soon for Cincinnati's Brian Foster (UPDATE: he's already there; thanks to Angellen for the find.)
Release via the Rampage:
Markstrom, 23, owns a 16-15-2 record with three shutouts in 33 starts with the Rampage this season and a 2.65 goals against average and a 0.920 save percentage. The 6-foot-6, 195-pound goaltender has surrendered two or fewer goals in 11 of his last 16 starts and has posted an 8-4-0 record in his last 12 starts. Markstrom is currently fourth in the league in saves (994) and owns a 10-5-2 record in games where he makes at least 30 stops. The second-round draft pick (31st overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Panthers, has played in a combined eight NHL games for Florida in the last two seasons (2010-12). The Galve, Sweden native spent the majority of last season in San Antonio, where he had a 17-12-1 record and a 2.23 goals-against average in 32 appearances.
Foster, 26, has appeared in 31 games for the Cyclones and owns an 18-7-4 record. The 6-foot-2, 186-pound goaltender also sports a 0.908 save percentage and a 2.63 goals-against average. Foster was announced as the runner up for the ECHL’s Goaltender of the Week Award on Monday after posting a perfect 3-0-0 record in three starts with a 1.34 goals-against average. In addition, Foster became the 11th goalie in league history to score a goal on Feb. 15 when he was credited with a goal against the Trenton Titans. Foster, who was drafted by the Panthers in the 5th round (161 overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, played in 12 games for the Rampage last season, posting a 4-6-0 record.