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[Signing] Canucks re-sign Thatcher Demko


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Was hoping for around 4-4.5 since he hasn't shown he can keep it up for a full season yet and he's on a hot streak right now but this is fair enough. There was no way he was taking less than his backup and I can't see his play dropping off anytime soon at his age.

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5 hours ago, wallstreetamigo said:

Acquiring a backup goalie to expose would probably have been pretty easy/inexpensive and far less cap restrictive. Given how he has played there is pretty much zero chance Seattle takes him. So that 2 year deal not only cost the team Toffoli this year, it will hinder the team again this offseason.

If you truly believed Demko would have been fine to take the reigns with a bargain bin back up, then full props to your astute foresight. Even though I thought letting Markstrom go was the right move, I was constantly mindful of the fact that Demko could trip up in his first full year of being a 1B/2A goalie, which is why I was glad that Benning signed Holtby so that Demko's confidence wouldn't completely shatter if he ended up having a more tough year - luckily he hasn't, but I'm not going to pretend like I knew he'd be this ready this quickly. 

 

5 hours ago, IBatch said:

I don't think we will be like EDM or TO, we simply won't be that top heavy.   Like it or not our path is closer to St. Louis then anything.   Our cap should be pretty balanced.    We don't have a Tavares/Mathews or McDavid/Drasaitl ... we do have a Miller, Horvat, EP though... 

 

Really think that the hockey gods have given the Canucks a gift.   Hope JB navigates it well. 

Agree.

 

I was just using EDM and TO as comparators for how the Canucks would be able to compete with them, not in terms of team makeup. I agree with you, the Canucks are trending towards a more balanced lineup like St. Louis...the dream would be Tampa Bay. Regardless, I think that model is much more sustainable compared to Edmonton or Toronto's. 

 

1 hour ago, Jimmy McGill said:

pretty good chances both OJ and Rathbone work out. We're actually in decent shape for next season cap-wise, in part because there should be some covid/flat cap deals still around. 

 

As far as the previous deals go, I don't really see a correlation to Demko's. They were made under very different plans and circumstances. 

Yep, I just think we'll be in even better shape once Eriksson, Roussel, Beagle, Holtby and Luongo's recapture penalty all finish up by the end of 2021-22. That's why I think we still have some suffering to go through, but it should get really interesting at the end of next season. By then, hopefully Demko solidifies the number 1 position even more to the point where he can tandem with a cheap back up (DiPietro?) and Benning can fill in the bottom six with prospects like Lockwood and Lind and cheap free agent signings. Even Podkolzin could become a skilled 3rd line forward by then - not just your typical 3rd line gritty forechecker. 

 

And yes, those previous "bad" signing were made at a different time under different circumstances. But I still think Benning could have planned it a little better (e.g. a Vesey type of signing at that price would have been great 2-4 seasons ago), or perhaps that's when ownership was interfering too much and wanted the rebuild to finish faster?

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14 hours ago, KoreanHockeyFan said:

If you truly believed Demko would have been fine to take the reigns with a bargain bin back up, then full props to your astute foresight. Even though I thought letting Markstrom go was the right move, I was constantly mindful of the fact that Demko could trip up in his first full year of being a 1B/2A goalie, which is why I was glad that Benning signed Holtby so that Demko's confidence wouldn't completely shatter if he ended up having a more tough year - luckily he hasn't, but I'm not going to pretend like I knew he'd be this ready this quickly. 

 

Agree.

 

I was just using EDM and TO as comparators for how the Canucks would be able to compete with them, not in terms of team makeup. I agree with you, the Canucks are trending towards a more balanced lineup like St. Louis...the dream would be Tampa Bay. Regardless, I think that model is much more sustainable compared to Edmonton or Toronto's. 

 

Yep, I just think we'll be in even better shape once Eriksson, Roussel, Beagle, Holtby and Luongo's recapture penalty all finish up by the end of 2021-22. That's why I think we still have some suffering to go through, but it should get really interesting at the end of next season. By then, hopefully Demko solidifies the number 1 position even more to the point where he can tandem with a cheap back up (DiPietro?) and Benning can fill in the bottom six with prospects like Lockwood and Lind and cheap free agent signings. Even Podkolzin could become a skilled 3rd line forward by then - not just your typical 3rd line gritty forechecker. 

 

And yes, those previous "bad" signing were made at a different time under different circumstances. But I still think Benning could have planned it a little better (e.g. a Vesey type of signing at that price would have been great 2-4 seasons ago), or perhaps that's when ownership was interfering too much and wanted the rebuild to finish faster?

Agree JB could have timed it better and made better planning.   Understand anyone who brings this up, it's beyond reproach (that our new core ELC years didn't work).    Reminds me of sitting next to a TO a fan, a year after Mathews had his rookie season, we got talking hockey and he was absolutely convinced their only shot at a cup and that their window was right then and there, and after AM got signed they were done for.    At the time i enjoyed the discourse but also thought he was way out there, and completely overeating (edit he was overeating, big dude, but i meant to say overreacting).     For one they didn't have the experience to win a cup and the idea that having AM would only give you a one year window seemed very silly.   I've seen the same things on this site from time to time too so get where whomever is coming from.   

 

So i did the research.  And found ONE team since the cap, that won a cup, unequivocally because or the new core, the last year Toews and Kane were on their ELCs.    Also found CAR...didn't really fit because that ones debatable, already been to the final with mostly the same team, but with a young Staal and Ward,  right after the lock-out too so that one is debatable.    Only other one is ANA with Getzlaf and Perry, which i can quickly dismiss because it was one of my favourite non Canuck teams to ever win a cup, and it wasn't about them although they did make an impact.   They didn't carry the mail at all like our guys did last fall.   Pronger. Niedarmayer..Selanne, McDonald and especially their PK  did.    So ONE team has won a cup with their new core on their ELCs, without any strings attached.  

 

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6 hours ago, wallstreetamigo said:

A veteran backup at 4 plus million per year is a good deal? Holtby was not needed at all. A veteran backup at a quarter of that hit would have been fine. With all the good players they lost due to having a bunch of bad contracts and players they could not move, it was pretty obvious the team would regress this season.

 

Benning and Green clearly thought Holtby would be the starter or at the very least the 1A/1B guy with Demko. You dont sign that contract if you have confidence in Demko to get the job done.

Going into the season I'm sure Benning hoped Demko would play in to the #1 but to expect that and sign a bottom bin backup would have been a terrible idea. Imagine the sh*t storm if this team played great out of the gates but goaltending kept the team from having a chance. Holtby was insurance in case bubble Demko was an illusion. This was the outcome all of hoped for with Demko and with the way Holtby's contract is structured even if he isn't claimed a buyout saves 4 million next season and carries a 1.5 for an extra year, the same year every so-called bad contract is off the books.

It's also very possible Holtby bounces back and at the very least is a solid backup like Allen was for Binny last season. 

I can't believe the level people will go to (not you) to hate on Benning. Oddly enough the guy who everyone loves Ian Clark was the guy who pushed hard for Holtby.

 

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16 hours ago, grandmaster said:

I’m sure hockey starved fans will fill the stadium next season. Everyone who wants to would be vaccinated by then and ownership couldn’t need it more after bleeding out these last 2 years! 

Tell that to Bonnie Henry!

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8 minutes ago, Alienhuggyflow said:

Going into the season I'm sure Benning hoped Demko would play in to the #1 but to expect that and sign a bottom bin backup would have been a terrible idea. Imagine the sh*t storm if this team played great out of the gates but goaltending kept the team from having a chance. Holtby was insurance in case bubble Demko was an illusion. This was the outcome all of hoped for with Demko and with the way Holtby's contract is structured even if he isn't claimed a buyout saves 4 million next season and carries a 1.5 for an extra year, the same year every so-called bad contract is off the books.

It's also very possible Holtby bounces back and at the very least is a solid backup like Allen was for Binny last season. 

I can't believe the level people will go to (not you) to hate on Benning. Oddly enough the guy who everyone loves Ian Clark was the guy who pushed hard for Holtby.

 

Sometimes you have to trust what you have though. Goalies are probably the easiest and cheapest players to acquire in trades or even on waivers. So if Demko struggled, finding a goalie would have not been as hard as finding say a top line scorer who is also defensively responsible like Toffoli or a top 2 defensive dman who meshes well with your young offensive dman like Tanev.

 

My point isnt that Holtby is a terrible player. Its that Benning prioritized a position that is and has literally been the least of our worries for along time over two glaring perrenial needs.

 

That cap space could have been better used elsewhere imo.

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9 hours ago, KoreanHockeyFan said:

Assuming Benning has learned his lesson from some of his bad signings, I think the Canucks are in pretty good shape in a few years once contracts like Roussel, Sutter, etc are off the books. I honestly believe we'll be in the same realm of the Leafs and the OIlers in the near future - just need some defencemen like Juolevi and/or Rathbone to pan out. 

 

That being said, I'm still expecting another couple of years of 1 step forward, 2 steps back - not out of the woods yet. 

Lots of cap off the books this season and next.  Benning avoided handing out big tickets this season and even with 30+ in cap this season I think he does the same this offseason.

That being said, I think we see some new faces that might be similar to what transpired with Nate. For example, if any of Rousell, Holtby, LE, Beagle, Pesrson, ETC end up off the books, I could see him adding a similar cap if it fits what the team needs going forward. I think we see a stud partner brought in for Quinn since he is our most important guy back their and there are a lot of teams up against it ED wise.

Overall tho next season is when we should see the a bunch of our prospects make the jump. I think OJ, Rathbone, Lind, Podz and possibly Jonah or lockwood make the jump.

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1 minute ago, wallstreetamigo said:

Sometimes you have to trust what you have though. Goalies are probably the easiest and cheapest players to acquire in trades or even on waivers. So if Demko struggled, finding a goalie would have not been as hard as finding say a top line scorer who is also defensively responsible like Toffoli or a top 2 defensive dman who meshes well with your young offensive dman like Tanev.

 

My point isnt that Holtby is a terrible player. Its that Benning prioritized a position that is and has literally been the least of our worries for along time over two glaring perrenial needs.

 

That cap space could have been better used elsewhere imo.

Well tell that to teams like the Oilers, Sabres even the Leafs to a point have been held back because they lack a true #1.

I get what you're saying tho I don't think Holtby is terrible he hasn't had any support and I do think his game would have improved playing with the team the way they have played the last 18-19 games. All but one game he played was during a stretch of games that was the worst I have seen since the mid-80s for this team.

Not saying he would have done what Demko did but anyone who's watched this team for 30+ years would probably agree that stretch of games was some of the worst hockey this team has ever had.

I mean it got to the point all I could do was laugh because It was comical how bad every single player not named Brock or Hogs was.

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10 minutes ago, wallstreetamigo said:

Sometimes you have to trust what you have though. Goalies are probably the easiest and cheapest players to acquire in trades or even on waivers. So if Demko struggled, finding a goalie would have not been as hard as finding say a top line scorer who is also defensively responsible like Toffoli or a top 2 defensive dman who meshes well with your young offensive dman like Tanev.

 

My point isnt that Holtby is a terrible player. Its that Benning prioritized a position that is and has literally been the least of our worries for along time over two glaring perrenial needs.

 

That cap space could have been better used elsewhere imo.

Tanev and TT age-wise and contract-wise don't fit long-term.

TT aside from those games against us has been his usual mid 20s goal pace. Those caps dollars can be used in the next couple of seasons for players that fit with the core better IMO.

You would be ok with Tanev at his age for that cap and that term? Are those not the same type of contracts Benning gets roasted for?

Hamonic has been as good for 25% of the cost. 

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Just now, Alienhuggyflow said:

Tanev and TT age-wise and contract-wise don't fit long-term.

TT aside from those games against us has been his usual mid 20s goal pace. Those caps dollars can be used in the next couple of seasons for players that fit with the core better IMO.

You would be ok with Tanev at his age for that cap and that term? Are those not the same type of contracts Benning gets roasted for?

Hamonic has been as good for 25% of the cost. 

Tanev at that term and cap hit? Not necessarily. But it sounds like Benning didnt even seriously approach him until he got the offer from Calgary. Would Tanev have signed a shorter deal to stay? We will never know. But it was certainly worth exploring.

 

Toffoli at that cap hit and term would have been a good fit. Here's why. Currently he is a top scorer. His play with the Canucks gave no indication he couldnt be here. Even if he had been "just a mid 20's goal scorer" at some point though, he is the type of defensively responsible player who can play in the bottom 6 and be part of an effective 2 way 3rd line. 

 

People defending Beagle and Roussel at 3 mil per for 4 years or Sutter at 4 plus mil just because Benning signed them yet slagging Toffoli at just north of 4 mil really need to watch more hockey. 

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17 minutes ago, Alienhuggyflow said:

Well tell that to teams like the Oilers, Sabres even the Leafs to a point have been held back because they lack a true #1.

I get what you're saying tho I don't think Holtby is terrible he hasn't had any support and I do think his game would have improved playing with the team the way they have played the last 18-19 games. All but one game he played was during a stretch of games that was the worst I have seen since the mid-80s for this team.

Not saying he would have done what Demko did but anyone who's watched this team for 30+ years would probably agree that stretch of games was some of the worst hockey this team has ever had.

I mean it got to the point all I could do was laugh because It was comical how bad every single player not named Brock or Hogs was.

Those teams did not have a guy like Demko though. Like you said, their goalies were garbage. Its apples to oranges in many respects.

 

I agree that was a pathetic stretch of hockey. Almost the kind of hockey where you expect a guy signed for north of 4 mil per to be able to steal you a game or at least not bleed terrible goals against.

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43 minutes ago, wallstreetamigo said:

Sometimes you have to trust what you have though. Goalies are probably the easiest and cheapest players to acquire in trades or even on waivers. So if Demko struggled, finding a goalie would have not been as hard as finding say a top line scorer who is also defensively responsible like Toffoli or a top 2 defensive dman who meshes well with your young offensive dman like Tanev.

 

My point isnt that Holtby is a terrible player. Its that Benning prioritized a position that is and has literally been the least of our worries for along time over two glaring perrenial needs.

 

That cap space could have been better used elsewhere imo.

There's a point though where you can be too trusting. There has to be a balance and Demko didn't show enough in my opinion to allow for such trust. Finding a goalie might not be difficult, but it's different if you need to find a solid starter. If you're looking for literally JUST a goalie, that's a really really low bar to have.

 

And I don't see how he prioritized that position at all. We didn't even know if we had a starter before signing Holtby. The prioritization was not for a backup, it was for insurance that we have a starter. A safety net. That's hardly signing someone just to be a backup.

 

That being said, I can see where 4.3 could be considered a lot given we have Demko, but there was no reason to think that Holtby would have been terrible when he signed the contract. He was, afterall, a proven stanley cup winner and joining a team with Ian Clark on it. You talk about sometimes having to trust, well how is that trust any different? You want to trust Demko's 3 games? How is that any different than Holtby's stanley cup ring? And yes, you can throw in my argument about having too much trust. It's the same idea. ;)

 

Of course, Holtby hasn't worked out as planned, but that's not the point. We have to think about when we signed him without knowledge of this current season if we want to actually consider if it was a good move or not. Afterall, there's a reason why he was paid 4.3 million, and it was not just to be a backup.

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24 minutes ago, The Lock said:

There's a point though where you can be too trusting. There has to be a balance and Demko didn't show enough in my opinion to allow for such trust. Finding a goalie might not be difficult, but it's different if you need to find a solid starter. If you're looking for literally JUST a goalie, that's a really really low bar to have.

 

And I don't see how he prioritized that position at all. We didn't even know if we had a starter before signing Holtby. The prioritization was not for a backup, it was for insurance that we have a starter. A safety net. That's hardly signing someone just to be a backup.

 

That being said, I can see where 4.3 could be considered a lot given we have Demko, but there was no reason to think that Holtby would have been terrible when he signed the contract. He was, afterall, a proven stanley cup winner and joining a team with Ian Clark on it. You talk about sometimes having to trust, well how is that trust any different? You want to trust Demko's 3 games? How is that any different than Holtby's stanley cup ring? And yes, you can throw in my argument about having too much trust. It's the same idea. ;)

 

Of course, Holtby hasn't worked out as planned, but that's not the point. We have to think about when we signed him without knowledge of this current season if we want to actually consider if it was a good move or not. Afterall, there's a reason why he was paid 4.3 million, and it was not just to be a backup.

Yes you can be too trusting. Or not trusting enough. Its not an exact science of course.

 

Looking at the players we lost and the team needs vs the need for expensive insurance in goal it was pretty unnecessary. Despite being a former Vezina and SC winner, Holtby was not good last year on a much stronger team so the red flags were there to some degree.

 

Good GM's are masters of risk vs reward valuations. None are perfect. And I dont expect Benning to be either. But in my mind the risk of Demko not stepping into the role, even if he struggled a bit, was not particularly high compared to the risk losing a top 6 solid defensive scorer and a top 2 defensive dman would have on the team play this season.

 

If Demko struggles, you make an adjustment if he cant shake it off. For many years the team has been playing like garbage defensively and relying on a goalie to stand on his head to have any success. Its become normalized by fans to sugar coat serious roster weaknesses. 

 

If Demko struggled until he found his starting game, having another top scorer and defensive dman would have gone farther for the money to improve the team play and maybe carry the goalie for once. Certainly the results so far show they could trust Demko and Holtby is still not a net positive to the team. But even at the time it was prioritizing a low relative need the team had.

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It is kind of odd that Benning was so worried about the risk of Demko not being ready that he went and signed another starter for big money.

 

.... but 25 games played later (and even some of those not being great), he now believes in Demko enough to give him a long term contract as the 12th highest paid goalie in the league.

 

I mean, I like the bet on Demko... but it seems like a huge about face without much extra info.  Could he not have signed the same deal a year from now after a 1 year extension?

 

Was the worry about an offer sheet?  I am guessing there are enough (even good) teams who need goaltenders that wouldn’t mind giving up a mid-late 1st and a 3rd for an NHL ready guy.

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33 minutes ago, Provost said:

It is kind of odd that Benning was so worried about the risk of Demko not being ready that he went and signed another starter for big money.

Eh. Demko surprised him. Holtby was insurance.  Like JB I figured Demko might need a year or two to ease him into a starting role. Given how last season was his first as an actual regular. 
 

JB could also be wanting to know what the cap will look like long term, which you don’t definitely know till the core is signed. Once the core is signed you can adjust your plans accordingly Perhaps this means he could also be maybe looking long-term with Petey/Hughes? It could be a smart move if this is the case. 

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4 hours ago, wallstreetamigo said:

Tanev at that term and cap hit? Not necessarily. But it sounds like Benning didnt even seriously approach him until he got the offer from Calgary. Would Tanev have signed a shorter deal to stay? We will never know. But it was certainly worth exploring.

 

Toffoli at that cap hit and term would have been a good fit. Here's why. Currently he is a top scorer. His play with the Canucks gave no indication he couldnt be here. Even if he had been "just a mid 20's goal scorer" at some point though, he is the type of defensively responsible player who can play in the bottom 6 and be part of an effective 2 way 3rd line. 

 

People defending Beagle and Roussel at 3 mil per for 4 years or Sutter at 4 plus mil just because Benning signed them yet slagging Toffoli at just north of 4 mil really need to watch more hockey. 

Context and timing matters when looking at contracts IMO.

When Sutter was signed we had a glaring need for a guy like him and the cap hit was not a big deal since we were a team clearly not contending for the foreseeable future and it allowed time for Horvat to develop and insulate him instead of stunting his growth.

Injuries have tainted peoples view of him but looking at the team's record with and without him paints a picture that shows his value to the team. I'm not saying Bo and how he turned out is because we had Sutter but the league is littered with players who had their growth stunted by being rushed into a role they weren't ready for. 

TT was brought in before the pandemic stagnated the cap, or was supposed to go up as much as 6 million so it's not really fair to blame Benning in that regard. 

As far as him being the type to be a bottom-six player I have to disagree, he's a sniper who if isn't scoring isn't really all that effective and as far as I can tell he's never been regarded as a guy who kills penalties or excels in a shut-down role.

I really don't get the hate for Beagle, the guy takes 90% of his draws in his own zone and because of that his advanced stats will take a beating but there is not a team that wouldn't want him as their 4c.

Again look at our record without him and without him and Sutter. Horvat has struggled trying to fill his role on the PK.

Rousell had a solid season before he got hurt and sure he's overpaid but he's not an anchor or anything like that.

Plus your missing my point about Tanev and TT, Sutter is off the books this season and Rousell the next. I wouldn't want either of them 3-4 years from now just like I wouldn't want Tanev or TT in 3-4 years either.  I guess what it boils down to for me is I prefer Nate and Hamonic over Tanev and I think the 4 million for TT is better used elsewhere especially with how Hogs has played and the fact I think Podz will be a good fit in our top six. I give full credit to TT for having a career pace considering he has scored more than 28 goals once and had been regressing 3 straight seasons before he was gifted a spot on a top line last year that was top 5 in the league and a top 5 PP as well. The fact is this season he's got half his goals against one team and honestly has been quite mediocre since his fast start. 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, wallstreetamigo said:

Yes you can be too trusting. Or not trusting enough. Its not an exact science of course.

 

Looking at the players we lost and the team needs vs the need for expensive insurance in goal it was pretty unnecessary. Despite being a former Vezina and SC winner, Holtby was not good last year on a much stronger team so the red flags were there to some degree.

 

Good GM's are masters of risk vs reward valuations. None are perfect. And I dont expect Benning to be either. But in my mind the risk of Demko not stepping into the role, even if he struggled a bit, was not particularly high compared to the risk losing a top 6 solid defensive scorer and a top 2 defensive dman would have on the team play this season.

 

If Demko struggles, you make an adjustment if he cant shake it off. For many years the team has been playing like garbage defensively and relying on a goalie to stand on his head to have any success. Its become normalized by fans to sugar coat serious roster weaknesses. 

 

If Demko struggled until he found his starting game, having another top scorer and defensive dman would have gone farther for the money to improve the team play and maybe carry the goalie for once. Certainly the results so far show they could trust Demko and Holtby is still not a net positive to the team. But even at the time it was prioritizing a low relative need the team had.

So you think we were ready to be contenders this season? Because Tanev and TT might have given us a bump this season but you would honestly be ok with them on the team 4 years from now? I would rather have Nate personally and Hogs being switched with TT doesn't make us a playoff team.

And who would you have signed instead of Holtby? And at what cost? That's a lot of risk to save a couple of million that still wouldn't have left enough cap to re-sign either one of them.

 

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