The Vancouver Canucks reportedly re-signed Thatcher Demko to a five-year, $25 million extension on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old goaltender rose to fame during the 2020 playoffs due to an injury to starter Jakob Markstrom. Down 3-1 in a second-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights, Demko was spectacular and helped the Canucks win three straight games before losing in Game Seven.
Demko was handed the starting job this season. He was cold to start the year but has heated up recently. In March, Demko started 11 of 13 games. He won eight of those decisions and posted a .937 save percentage, leading to the huge extension.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 31, 2021
Demko and VAN 5×5
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 31, 2021
The contract likely has ramifications for Braden Holtby moving forward. The former Capital, who helped lead Washington to a Stanley Cup championship in 2018, will likely be left exposed for the Seattle Expansion Draft held this summer. Each NHL team can protect only one goalie.
Holtby signed a two-year, $8.6 million contract for the Canucks over the offseason after the Capitals opted to go with Ilya Samsonov as their starter. The signing made sense for both sides. It brought Braden closer to home in Canada while the Canucks viewed Holtby as a mentor and insurance if Demko struggled as a full-time starter at the NHL level.
One of the first things Braden Holtby did after signing with Canucks was ask for Thatcher Demko’s phone number. Holtby has to perform, but sounds like he’s going to be good teammate/mentor.
— Iain MacIntyre (@imacSportsnet) October 9, 2020
Holtby hoped to land the starting spot but has been relegated to a backup role under head coach Travis Green. He is 4-6-2 with a 3.57 goals against average and a .894 save percentage with the Canucks this season. He’s only played in seven games since the start of February.
Screenshot courtesy of the Vancouver Canucks
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