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Photo Credit: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP

Canucks Sign Thatcher Demko to Two-year Contract Extension

The Canucks took care of some business yesterday, signing Thatcher Demko to a two year contract extension

The full press release is as follows:

Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the club has re-signed goaltender Thatcher Demko to a two-year contract extension that carries an average annual value of $1.05 million.

“We were pleased with the progression Thatcher took in his game last season and the way he held his own against NHL competition down the stretch,” said Benning. “Playing in the World Championships will be another important part of his development and we’re excited to see where he takes his game next.”

Demko, 23, appeared in nine games for Vancouver during the 2018.19 season, posting a record of 4-3-1 along with a .913 save percentage and a 2.81 GAA. During the month of March, he registered a .924 save percentage in six starts, which included a career-best 37-save performance on March 28th versus Los Angeles. He also became the first goaltender in Canucks history to win his first two NHL appearances following a 36-save victory over Buffalo on January 18th.

Demko started the season with the Utica Comets, posting a record of 8-5-1 along with a .911 save percentage and a GAA of 2.58 in 16 games. An AHL All-Star in 2018, Demko is the Comets all-time leader in wins (55-35-12).

The 6-4, 192-pound native of San Diego, California, was originally drafted by Vancouver in the second round, 36th overall, at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

It’s a deal that makes sense for both sides, as Demko gets a chance to prove that his late season performance wasn’t a mirage and that he can build on it. While the organization gets cost certainty for the next two seasons on who they expect to be the backup.

With Demko signed, the Canucks have about $53.4M on the books for next season but that is number will be quite fluid as the spring moves along.

Demko will represent the United States at the World Championships next month.

  • Bud Poile

    Certainly an equitable deal and hoping Demko makes this look like a steal by this time next year.
    The .org has decent depth in net and their goalie program is one of the strengths this club is developing.

  • Killer Marmot

    I am surprized that there are no performance bonuses in the contract, given that Demko was considered one of the best prospect goaltenders in the NHL (Dobber Prospects had him third). Demko has the potential to become the most underpaid Canuck for a year or two, although Hughes might give him a run for his money.

      • Actually, you’re not totally wrong. Performance bonuses are reserved for ELC’s but also certain 1-year contracts (over 35 or returning from long-term injury). Certain well-known non-ELC players received performance bonuses, like when Patrick Sharp got a performance bonus for playing 10 games a few years ago (on a 1-year 35+ contract before he retired last season). Capfriendly has a FAQ that explains the criteria for performance bonuses. I always wondering why more contracts weren’t based on performance targets, like in the real world, and here is the reason why:

        A Performance Bonus can be given to a player in addition to their salary. Performance bonuses are only paid to the player if they meet the requirements as defined by the bonus. Performance bonuses count against the salary cap; however, a team can exceed the salary cap due to performance bonuses by the maximum performance bonus cushion amount of 7.5 percent of the upper limit. Not all players are eligible for Performance Bonuses, and to receive a bonus within their contract, a player must meet one of the following criteria:

        1) The player is on an entry-level contract.
        2) The player has signed a one-year contract and is over 35 years old.
        3) The player has signed a one-year contract after returning from a long-term injury (has played 400 or more games, and spent 100 or more days on the Injured Reserve in the last year of their most recent contract).

        https://www.capfriendly.com/faq#performance_bonus

  • Classic bridge contract. Demko needs a bigger NHL resume to justify getting paid more than his ELC and two years eliminates distortions caused by a single hot/cold season. I fully expect Demko to be our starter by the time this contract is completed (or sooner).

  • Kanuckhotep

    Perhaps Thatcher’s agent could have gotten more coin/term for the kid but you kind of have to see it Benning’s way on this. I think GMJB just had to look at cap debacles in EDM and TOR and think, “I ain’t going there.” Those are teams in big trouble on this issue, teams that haven’t even won playoff series in over a decade and they’re all but maxed out. This deal is far better for management that for the player but realistically Demko still has to prove himself over time which I think he will.

  • wojohowitz

    How low is my opinion of Benning? Would he low ball a player just because he can? Does he think it makes him look good – like a tough negotiator who really knows how to turn the screws. But what happens when the player holds all the cards as a UFA? When he tells his agent to squeeze the GM for all he can get but he will never re-sign with that GM in charge? Benning could have created a good vibe by offering an extra half-mill or even an extra mill with an extra year so why poison the well just to prove to everybody that he`s a hardass. Lowballing a fringe player like he did a year ago with Pouliot makes sense but doing it to a potential future corner stone is just short sighted.

    Then there`s the Horvat / Boeser situation. Horvat is a foundation to build upon. Boeser is a 29 goal scorer who`s looking for a 7×7. Is Horvat going to fire his agent in disgust in the short term and plan on getting out of town as soon as his contract ends because Benning is a tough negotiator who thinks he makes himself look good by screwing players over?

    Then there`s the Pavel Bure fiasco. Seven years a Canuck but six years elsewhere because he signed a Personal Services Contract that the Canucks refused to honour. What might have been with Bure a Canuck for 10 or 15 years. There would be no ongoing debate about retiring his number if his entire career had been spent in Vancouver.

    I won`t go into the Thomas Gradin farce where the GM low balled him , bragged openly about it and then have his replacement clean up the mess. For every great Canuck GM like Quinn and Burke the fans have to put with Benning`s, Gordon`s, Neale`s and Nonis`s.

    …and that is todays rant.

    • #29JackMack

      Wow, Demko has played all of 10 games in the NHL and he is being low-balled??? How could you even consider comparing his situation to that of Bure’s in the 90’s? Jim Benning can’t win in this marketplace for anything he does. If he “gives” Demko another mil, he has overpaid…what a bum! The deal he offered was a low ball…what a bum! Just a poor rant in my opinion!

      • canuckfan

        Demko got the market price perhaps just a bit more than Market price. There are just a few goalies who get big money, too many goalies for the amount of jobs available. Just two keepers per team and 6 defence and 12 forwards and so many more goalies wishing for an NHL gig and backups will do what they can to make the big league.

    • canuckfan

      Because the Demko contract signing came out as quick as it did meant in my opinion that both sides were happy no squeezing otherwise there would have been reports of how crappy things were going and negotiations would have just lingered on.