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JPat and Quads dissect the Vancouver Canucks’ competitive window: Canucks Conversation

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
5 months ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli was joined by RinkWide’s Jeff Paterson to recap last night’s game and look at the prime window for the Canucks to compete.
Thatcher Demko put on his best Bobby-Lou impression by posting a 36-save shutout on Roberto Luongo night at Rogers Arena. He was at the top of his game and anchored the Canucks to a 4-0 win against the Panthers, as the Canucks head out of Vancouver on a 3-game win streak after their 5-game homestand, where they won 4 of 5.
Jeff mentioned that although the Panthers outshot Vancouver 36-18, there weren’t many high-scoring chances: “I didn’t love the way they played in the third, where they basically left Demko out to dry, but it was a four-nothing game, garbage time… Just like the Tampa game when they held Kucherov off the score sheet, Kaprizov when Minnesota was here; the Canucks are doing a nice job against the star power of other teams and holding them in check. They gave up 36 shots, but it didn’t feel like Thatcher Demko was under siege at any point in that hockey game.”
The guys then got to their main segment about the Canucks’ competitive window.
“When I look at Pettersson and Hughes, it’s not that these guys don’t have another decade to be higher-level performers and producers,” JPat said. “The problem is they’re going to get a lot more expensive on their next deals. Looking at the composition of this roster, I think they’re a bit ahead of schedule. Their star players this year have all leveled up, and some of the competition around them hasn’t amounted to much. Teams like Nashville, Calgary, St. Louis, and Seattle have taken a step back and allowed the Canucks to emerge and hang with the big boys. There are two big contracts to come that complicate the conversation, but the salary cap is going up, and Tyler Myers is coming off the books; they can make numbers work here for next season. The season after that, it gets crunchy financially.” 
JPat noted the timing of the contracts for the Canucks’ core isn’t going to get much better than it is now, with Demko and Hughes both providing value beyond their contract:
“To me, it really hinges on two more years beyond this one of Thatcher Demko at five million bucks, he pitched his third shutout of the season last night, and he’s the front runner for the Vezina… you are reaping value out of that contract the way that he’s playing. You’re going to get him for his twenty-nine, thirty-year-old seasons, which are right in the prime of his career; then you’ve got Quinn Hughes on his current contract for a year beyond that.”
“That (Hughes) contract has turned out to be a ridiculous deal at 7.85 million bucks; if he continues to play at this level as a defenseman controlling the game and doing what he does; he’s in for a massive raise… For this group, the next two to three years are pretty damn important.”
You can watch the full replay of today’s episode in the video below:

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