Vancouver Canucks place G Spencer Martin on waivers as Thatcher Demko nears return

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
1 year ago
UPDATE 12:30 PM: While Thatcher Demko is still progressing and is indeed nearing a return, head coach Rick Tocchet said that Demko still needs 3-4 practices before returning, indicating that 21-year-old Arturs Silovs will be getting the call up from Abbotsford.
The Vancouver Canucks have placed goaltender Spencer Martin on waivers for the purpose of reassignment to the AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks, general manager Patrik Allvin announced Monday morning.
The move indicates that Thatcher Demko is close to being ready to return, and that the Canucks’ regular starting netminder will not go through a conditioning stint in Abbotsford. The Canucks were extremely cautious with the injury that Demko sustained during their home matchup against the Florida Panthers on December 1st.
The Canucks originally laid out a timeline of approximately six weeks for Demko’s return, but were clearly in no rush to get Demko back on the ice.
In the time since Demko’s injury, Collin Delia has moved past Spencer Martin — who started the year as Demko’s backup after an impressive run of games last year — on the Canucks’ goaltending depth chart.
After picking up a win or a point in all six of the games he started for the Canucks last season, Martin has lost his ten straight games. In those ten games, he has not had a save percentage above .900. Delia hasn’t been much better, but he has been slightly better, which is why
Through 13 games played for the Canucks this season, Delia has a save percentage of .887, while Martin is rocking an .871 sv% through 29 games played.
Demko has been skating for a few weeks now, and practiced with the team ahead of their game against the New York Rangers last Wednesday.
Demko has yet to be activated from injured reserve, which is why we used the word “expected” in our headline. There is a much more chaotic scenario that could play out, as the Canucks could call up 21-year-old Arturs Silovs to give him a look at the NHL level. Silovs has been stellar for Abbotsford this season after being thrust into a starter’s role with Delia getting the call up to the big club for the past few months.
As the President of the Silovs fan club, I’m fully on board with this, of course. But much more seriously, this move does probably simply indicate that the Canucks will either activate Demko off IR in the hour leading up to puck drop tonight, or more likely, have Martin backup tonight and go down to the AHL tomorrow if he clears waivers.
As we saw with the Lane Pederson situation, players on waivers can still play games during the 24 hours before they’re either sent down or claimed by another NHL team. It’s very possible that Martin serves as Delia’s backup tonight and that Demko isn’t activated until Wednesday’s matchup with the New York Rangers, instead.

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