In this edition of Vancouver Canucks‘ News & Rumors, Thatcher Demko has been named to the 2022 NHL All-Star roster, while J.T. Miller can be voted in through Last Men In voting. Additionally, the Canucks are looking to add help on the blue line while the search for the team’s next general manager (GM) continues.
Demko Named to All-Star Game
Demko continues to add to his impressive season as he was the lone member of the Canucks to be named to the 2022 NHL All-Star Game (from ‘Canucks’ Demko picked for NHL All-Star Weekend,’ The Province, January 13, 2022). Demko will share the crease with John Gibson for the Pacific Division All-Star team.
The NHL named Demko as the league’s third star in December. The 26-year-old goalie has a 15-13-1 record this season. He has a 2.65 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage. Demko is the seventh goalie in franchise history to be named to the All-Star roster, joining the likes of Gary Smith (1975), Richard Brodeur and his injury replacement, John Garrett (1983), Kirk McLean (1990 and 1992), Robert Luongo (2007, 2008 and 2009) and Jacob Markstrom (2020).
Miller as Last Men In Candidate
Miller could also join Demko at the All-Star game this season. He is in the running to be an All-Star for the Pacific Divison as fans can vote for him through Last Men In voting.
Miller has been the best Canucks’ forward since the start of the season. He leads the team in goals with 11 and points with 36 in 36 games. He ranks 21st in the league in points as well.
Along with Miller, forwards Troy Terry (Anahiem Ducks), Matthew Tkachuk (Calgary Flames), Logan Couture (San Jose Sharks), Jonathan Marchessault (Vegas Golden Knights) and defencemen Darnell Nurse (Edmonton Oilers), Drew Doughty (Los Angeles King) and Mark Giordano (Seattle Kraken) are candidates. Voting is open until midnight ET on Jan 17th.
Canucks Hoping to Add Another Mobile Defenceman
After the Canucks practiced in Florida on Wednesday, head coach Bruce Boudreau spoke to the media on the state of the team’s blue line (from ‘Canucks look for more dynamic defence beyond the mighty Quinn,’ The Province, January 12, 2022).
“You need more than one guy like Quinn (Hughes), to be able to jump into the play, to be able to create some offence from the defence,” he said. “If you don’t have that, look at all the good teams in the NHL, you take the top 10. Their defence are all mobile and they can rack up points and they create offence from the defence and, of course, we would like more of that.”
Boudreau said adding a mobile puck-moving defenceman always comes to the top of his list. Throughout his career, Boudreau’s teams usually have a mobile blue line. Quinn Hughes leads the team’s defensive group with 28 points in 35 games, which is almost half of the group’s point total, while Tyler Myers is second on the team’s blue line with 10 points in 36 games.
The Province’s Patrick Johnston adds, although the team’s president and interim GM Jim Rutherford will likely look to trade for a mobile defenceman, the Canucks could give Jack Rathbone a look. The 22-year-old defenceman played nine games with Vancouver this season before being sent to Abbotsford, where he played seven games, scoring one goal and posting six points. Rathbone’s missed some time due to a suspected shoulder injury but should return to action with Abbotsford soon. He would be a welcomed addition to the NHL club’s blue line as he has shown his ability to move the puck up the ice, which the Canucks seem to need.
Sean Burke as a Top Candidate for GM
On Friday morning, Rick Dhaliwal reported the Canucks are down to their finalists for their GM job on Donnie and Dhali. He noted Sean Burke is another candidate, along with the lead candidate Patrik Allvin and Scott Mellanby, as he impressed in his interview.
Additionally, Darren Dreger confirmed previous reports on Rutherford’s search for a diverse management team on Insider Trading. He notes the shortlist of GMs will come to five or six people. He adds Rutherford has conducted a number of interviews personally and virtually.
Additionally, he confirms the president has interviewed multiple women for an assistant GM position. Dreger states Rutherford is looking for fresh voices and different ideas moving forward.
Canucks 2022 Lunar New Year Jersey
The Canucks introduced their 2022 Lunar New Year jersey this week, which is designed by artist Trevor Lai.
The jersey will be worn by the Canucks in warm-ups as part of their Lunar New Year celebration at some point in the 2021-22 season. Lai hopes the design sends a message about inclusivity and anti-Asian racism, as some of the proceeds will go towards Elimin8Hatem, a local community organization advocating for racial equity and inclusivity for Asian Canadiens.
“I came up with the idea of a tiger jumping out of water because normally the orca is breaking through ice. I thought what we are trying to push as a message is change,” Lai said. “Because obviously, in addition to celebrating Lunar New Year, we’re really trying to bring awareness to all of the increased inclusivity and anti-Asian activities and messages that we want to change.”
Sartaaj has been watching hockey for over 15 years and covers the Vancouver Canucks for The Hockey Writers.