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Markstrom, Canucks to negotiate contract after playoffs

GM says 'We'll get something figured out' with goalie before becoming free agent @NHLdotcom

Jacob Markstrom and the Vancouver Canucks will resume contract negotiations after the Stanley Cup Playoffs, general manager Jim Benning said Wednesday.

"I've got a good relationship with Jacob, and you know we talked again yesterday," Benning told Sportsnet. "We're going to get something figured out for him. We both decided let's just wait until after the playoffs are done. We'll sit down with his agent Pat Morris and with Jacob and we'll get something figured out. We want to keep him on the team. He's been a good goalie for us here the last couple of years and a big part of the team."

The 30-year-old, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the season, was negotiating with the Canucks before postponing those talks after the NHL season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

He will be the starter for Vancouver, the No. 7 seed, against the No. 10 seed Minnesota Wild in a best-of-5 Stanley Cup Qualifiers series that begins in Edmonton, the Western Conference hub city, on Sunday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV, SN, FS-N, FS-WI). The winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the loser will have a chance at the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft in the Second Phase of the NHL Draft Lottery, to be held Aug. 10.

Benning said Markstrom's performance this postseason would not have an effect on contract talks.

"I don't think that's part of it," he said.

Markstrom and Vancouver lost to the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 in an exhibition game at Rogers Place on Wednesday.

Markstrom has been Vancouver's No. 1 goalie since the 2017-18 season. He was 23-16-4 with a 2.75 goals-against average this season, and among goalies to make at least 40 starts, he was fourth in the NHL with a .918 save percentage.

Selected by the Florida Panthers in the second round (No. 31) of the 2008 NHL Draft, Markstrom was acquired by the Canucks as part of the trade for goalie Roberto Luongo on March 4, 2014.

Markstrom is 110-118-32 with a 2.80 GAA and .911 save percentage in 272 NHL games (256 starts).

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