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Vancouver Canucks Goalie Thatcher Demko’s Devil’s Advocate

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Vancouver Canucks, Thatcher Demko
Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko works at practice with goalie coach Ian Clark.

The hypothetical debate about Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko and the most important position on the ice moving forward:

Why would anyone not be completely comfortable with this netminder starting next season? The devil’s advocate chimed in.

— I’ll tell you why, you ever heard of Matt Murray? How about Jim Carey?

Jim Carey?! Are you kidding me, that’s an awful comparison. Jim Carey hated hockey, he didn’t even want to play.

— Dude, Jim Carey won the Vezina in 1996, had nine shut-outs that season, and three years later, he was out of hockey.

Like I said, bad comparison.

— How about Murray? What about Steve Mason?

Murray won two Stanley Cups, had a lot going on in his life, got traded as a pending free agent. How about let Demko win two Cups and then come talk to me. Mason I can’t explain, other than he won the Calder Trophy in 2009 with Columbus and then ended up in Philadelphia where goalies go to wither. I interviewed him at the NHL Awards in 2009 and he didn’t seem overly confident.

— Demko has stuff going on in his life, he’s getting married this summer!

And?

— OK. What about the injury?

Let’s ask him.

“It probably happened about a month ago, and it was during a game too,” Demko told the media on Sunday. “I knew something was up right away, but we were kind of right in the mix there so, it was something I was trying to play through the last little bit here and ultimately when it got to a certain point I made the decision with the medical staff to shut it down.”

So not exactly Earth shattering or life threatening and he may or may not require surgery. To-be-determined.

— Don’t like the sounds of it. And I thought he tired under the work load. 64 appearances was almost double his previous career high.

Double? 70 would be double, but I get your point. And I have brought up your point before, in fact, before this past season even started. It was one of the first articles VHN published last July.

— See that. No guarantees, just like there’s no guarantee Spencer Martin is the Vancouver Canucks back-up.

Maybe. What does ‘Demmer’ think?

“Every opportunity he got this year he looked awesome,” Demko said of Martin, “he had some confidence to him. He’s a good guy so, I don’t know him overly well, I was around him at camp and any time he was called up, but yeah I looking forward to getting to know him a little bit better and I think it’s important to have a good relationship with your goalie partner.”

— What did he say about that workload?

“There was definitely a lot of things I learned through the process and things that I think I can improve on going forward,” Demko said. “There were times when I was really happy with my game and there were some times where I wasn’t so happy so, overall I thought it was a positive year for me, but again, just being able to go through it and understand it through experience is something I was obviously missing previously. So yeah, just taking what I learned and moving forward for next year.”

There ya go. He’ll be ready to go. He’ll get healthy, work with Vancouver Canucks goalie coach Ian Clark to improve and the 2021-’22 team MVP will be ready to roll.

— So says you, assumption chump.

Later.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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