Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet that doesn’t need anyone watching its back.
Speaking of backing up, we’re here today to talk about the Vancouver Canucks and their backup goaltending situation.
Now, let’s be clear. We’re not suggesting that anything even approaching a goaltending controversy is on the horizon. The Canucks have had plenty of drama in the past about who’s the 1G, and who’s the 2G, and who should start in the Heritage Classic, but those days are over.
Thatcher Demko is the number one goaltender, and he’s going to be for a good long while. But there are still some questions to be had about who’s going to be backing him up in the short-, medium-, and long-term.
As of right now, the answer is Jaroslav Halak, he of the reportedly-not-quite-attained-yet $1.25 million bonus. All indications are that the Canucks would like to trade Halak before he makes another start, but that he’s as of yet proved unwilling to waive his no-movement clause.
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Down in Abbotsford, they’ve got Spencer Martin, putting on an absolute clinic on a near-nightly basis. Through three NHL games, Martin showed that he might already have what it takes to be a full-time big league goalie, but that’s an awful small sample size to go on.
Then there are Mike DiPietro and Arturs Silovs, each of whom entered the season as more highly-touted prospects than Martin, but each of whom have slipped decidedly below him on the organizational depth chart.
That’s who the Canucks have on hand now, but lots could change between today and opening night of the 2022/23 season. In other words, we’ve got plenty of time to speculate, and we’re going to do a little of it right here, right now.
Today, we’re asking you:

Who do you think is going to be the Canucks’ backup goaltender as of next season?

Let it be known in the comment section.
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(Credit to Beer Can Boyd for the idea.) 

Who is on your list of Canucks untouchables?

You answered below!
El Kabong:
Canucks untouchables from the net out:
Demko
Hughes
Petterson
Podkolzin
That’s about it. Everyone else I would listen to offers on, but I’d like Boeser to stay if re-signed 5-6 years at$ 5.5M-6M.
Axeman:
Rationally, no one is untouchable. It all depends on what is offered in return. Based on a cost-benefit review, Boeser has a suspect benefit unless he can be signed long-term for a reduced AAV. Miller’s cost vs benefit is inverse to that of Boeser. Motte even more so.
Emotionally, I bear no attachment to Pearson, Poolman, Chaison, Halak, OEL, and Hamonic. The break point is mainly on those, regardless of salary, who sell out each and every game. In addition, there is a certain level of attachment to players either drafted or developed by the Canucks. There is an investment in watching young players navigate their way, much in the same way there is investment in watching your kids grow and mature.
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TheRealRusty:
Decisions on who on the roster is untouchable are always based on contract term (cost-to-performance). Of the three listed below, all are untouchable until one year before they hit UFA:
QH (2026-2027 season)
Demko (2024-2025 season)
Petey [only because his value now is rock bottom] (until 2023-2024)
The rest of the players are available for trades, IF the assets we get back makes us younger and a better team.
PS: I would love to see Cammi Granato’s list of untouchables after scouting this team for two years.
Beer Can Boyd:
Demko, Hughes, EP, and the two kids still on ELC’s (Podkolzin and Höglander). Everyone else can be traded, provided the return is younger, faster, and cheaper.
Bo Ho:
Boho, Demko, Hughes, EP, Podz, Hoggy, and a bunch of Abby Canucks. Boeser and Garland probably shouldn’t be traded.
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AaronK:
So many thoughts brought out by this question. Hughes and Demko are untouchable. Petey and Bo should be only traded for huge hauls and probably won’t be. Podkolzin and Höglander should also stick around as they are young, cost-controlled, and should get better. Garland can be traded but it’s hard to see how we would get better back as he is on a good contract 4.95 x 5yrs and he provides very good value and is only 25. After that trade em all if the value coming back is good.
Hockey Bunker:
Management needs to get the balance right. We have a young goalie, primarily an old middle-of- the-road defense and a mix of all ages and skills forwards with a common trait: they are not physical enough.
With that in mind, I would only have two untouchables, Demko and Hughes. Any combination of the others kept or traded so that they can rebalance the roster with a younger faster more skilled and physical defense and forward group.
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At the end of the day it doesn’t matter who gets traded, it’s what comes back and how it fits in to the team transformation into a contender.
Craig Gowan:
My untouchable list is: Demko, Hughes, and Petterson (in that order); the latter because I fear he will break out next year and beyond, in which case he should remain an untouchable. We wouldn’t get value for him in a trade until he does anyway.
I think it makes no sense to trade Podkolzin or Höglander. We don’t know how good they can be yet and they are very promising. I wouldn’t trade Garland because he is mid-20s and a top-six winger (20-goal scorer) on a good value contract.
I’d like to keep Miller and Horvat, two top veteran performers/leaders, unless someone knocks the Canucks’ socks off with a return which can’t be refused. I believe that older players can be key guys on a predominantly young winning team. I am not wedded to anyone else.
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I like Boeser — he’s a good character & a bona fide sniper — but he is one-dimensional and slow. Rutherford & Co. want a fast team and Boeser does not fit that mold.
observer11:
It’s not only who is untouchable, it’s how many contracts are untradeable. This team is not going to compete for the Cup the way the current roster is constructed, so the question for management is how to change that. Short of Hughes and Demko, no one should be untouchable. as the Canucks have to look how to improve the roster.
neal:
A moot point. The only untouchable is OEL, because no one will touch his contract.
fv fan:
With the team still not in the top half of the league and the dismal last 6+ years, no one gets untouchable status.
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Rutherford needs to look far and wide and consider everything that will turn the team into a playoff and Cup contender.
There are a few obvious unlikely moves, because it would be tough to get equivalent or better value back. That is Hughes and Demko. Moving Miller would destroy what is left of this season, so any package for him would have to be large on multiple blue-chippers and high draft picks.
I am Ted:
It would take a lot for me to deal Hughes, Pettersson, or Demko. Those guys would be really tough to replace. If Miller was younger, he’d be on this list too. However, I don’t have an untouchable. If a team offers a lot for any of those guys, then I’d deal.
Canucks have been mediocre for a large part of their 50+ years. It’s time to actually do a proper build and go with that. Aquilini tried to cut corners and push for a speedy rebuild — look where that got us. It’s really tough to put out a good team. Let this front office do it right.
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Forward thinker:
My untouchable list is actually fairly long. All are players I feel are in the core age between 22 and 27. Horvat, Pettersson, Garland, Boeser, Höglander, Podkolzin, Demko, and Hughes. I love Motte and would try to re-sign him in the summer, but would trade him now. All the rest are worth more in trade than the value to this lineup. I really doubt OEL or Myers are tradeable without serious retention on salary, so I would keep both as they are better than we would get in return and the salary saved would be meager.
LiborPolasek:
Anyone over 25/26 should be on the market — except for Demko, who should be #1 in the untouchable list, whilst anyone younger than 25 years of age should be kept/untouchable.
Bing Qiu:
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(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
Capone thought he was an Untouchable, but Ness took him down. Our POHO Rutherford (Ness) has a history of taking down ‘Untouchables’ including Pronger, Shanahan, Ron Francis, and James Neal. With a history like that, no one is safe, although hopefully Demko and Pettersson will still be here. Against the prevalent thinking, Rutherford and Allvin may be taking note of OEL’s recently demonstrated ability to quarterback the defence with the absence of Hughes. Now trading Hughes, that would be a blockbuster.
Sandpaper:
No one is untouchable.
Gino’s 3rd Cousin:
Everybody has a price. I’d be reticent on Demko though.
Duncan Stewart:
Ian Clark.
KevinMW:
Well, the conventional answer is Hughes and Demko. As a young captain who has a ton of upside, I’d say Horvat is likely on that list. And as others have noted, Elias Pettersson hasn’t had a great season, so his trade value is lower now, but his upside is high — very unlikely trade at present.
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So, as much as I’d love to add Miller, Motte, Garland, Höglander, a couple of others — I think realistically it’s those four guys.
Brian Togri:
Demko and Hughes are untouchable as cornerstones of this franchise’s immediate future and that’s simply not debatable. Podkolzin, Höglander. and Rathbone should be untouchable as talented entry level players with an as-yet-undetermined ceiling. The risk of losing value when trading one of these players is just too high and if the goal is acquiring young talented players on ELCs…what’s the point? Everyone else is a known commodity and should only move for added value.
tyhee:
There are players’ contracts that shouldn’t be moved without a great deal coming in return, but there are no untouchables. Whether to make a trade depends not on whether you’re giving up something valuable, but on whether the return is more valuable than what is given up.
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A River Named Curt:
Demko, Hughes, and Podz. The first two are all-star talents who are outperforming their contracts. We’ve only scratched the surface of what Podkolzin is capable of, but I like what I’m seeing so far.
Kanuckhotep:
Demko and Hughes are not going anywhere. Despite his struggles, Petey won’t be either, given that contract no one would want, and maybe Bo. That’s it. Four guys. Who’ll they’ll keep out of JT and Brock? A huge decision will have to be made, but given cap limitations, can’t keep both players. The longer future of the blueline and no one on the farm but Rathbone are the two biggest problems the new regime must address. Until then, this is no contender.
FairPM:
There are no untouchables. The more valuable the player, the higher the price. As good as Demko and Hughes are, if the price is high enough, I’d be open to listen.
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Holly Wood:
If a McDavid, Makar, Fox, or MacKinnon suddenly came available, you can bet anyone on the roster would become tradable.