In this edition of the Vancouver Canucks News & Rumors, Thatcher Demko is reportedly done for the season. Meanwhile, Quinn Hughes has set two records for the Canucks and the organization is expected to sign Bruce Boudreau to a contract extension.
Demko Done for Season
Demko did not play against the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday due to an injury, as reported by Rick Dhaliwal. Elliotte Friedman joined Donnie and Dhali to add the goalie will likely sit out the remainder of the season.
Friedman noted he believes Demko is one of the few number one superstar goalies left in the NHL, and with the Canucks’ season mostly over, the club should be cautious. Demko played 64 games this season, posting a 33-22-7 record, a career-best 2.72 goals-against average, a .915 save percentage and one shutout. Demko is in the first year of his five-year deal with an annual average value of $5 million, which is looking like a great deal for the team.
Hughes Breaks Record
In his third NHL season, Hughes has set the record for the most points by a Canucks defenceman in a single season. He posted three points in the club’s 5-2 win over the Kraken on Tuesday, giving him 66 points on the season. He surpassed Doug Lidster’s 63-point record, which he set in the 1986-87 season.
Hughes also surpassed Dennis Kearns’ 55 assist record, which he set in 1976-77. With two games remaining, Hughes has 58 assists and 66 points on the season. He has proven to be the best offensive defenceman in Canucks history throughout his three seasons with the club. If the 22-year-old continues to produce at his current rate, he will surpass Alex Edler (409) for the most points in franchise history as his 163 points tie him for 12th with Doug Halward.
Canucks to Keep Boudreau
Friedman believes the Canucks will keep Boudreau unless negotiations don’t go as expected. He adds a three-year deal is the perfect length for both sides. Over the past few weeks, there were rumors the Canucks could look to add a new head coach to replace Boudreau, but it seems the club has decided against that.
Bringing Boudreau back seems to be a no-brainer based on how the Canucks have performed with him behind the bench. He turned the team around after their abysmal start to the season. After an 8-15-2 start under Travis Green, Boudreau had the club playing meaningful games in April. The club posted a 31-15-9 record under the head coach. His leadership also led to the resurgence of Elias Pettersson, who had four goals and 12 points to start the season. The Swedish forward posted 28 goals and 54 points in 53 games under Boudreau.
Canucks Interest in Kuzmenko
Dhaliwal reported Russian free agent forward Andrei Kuzmenko will start to interview NHL teams next week. He adds the Canucks are among those teams and are high on his list. General manager Patrik Allvin likes Kuzmenko and has been in contact with his agent. The 26-year-old has played eight seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League, posting 20 goals and 53 points in 45 games this past season.
Schenn Nominated for the Bill Masterton Trophy
Luke Schenn is the Canucks nominee for the Bill Masteron Trophy in the 2021-22 season (from ‘Luke Schenn had to reinvent himself en route to Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy nomination,’ The Province, April 25, 2022). The Trophy is awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey. A player from each NHL organization is selected.
Schenn is deserving of his nomination as he has reinvented himself while playing alongside Hughes on the team’s blue line this season. After a stint in the American Hockey League with San Diego Gulls, he joined the Canucks in the 2018-19 season. He then won two Stanley Cups with the Tampa Bay Lightning before re-joining the Canucks this season. He has proven to be a steal for the club with the minutes he’s played. He’s also emerged as a locker room leader for the team this season and will look to continue his success with the organization next season.
Sartaaj has been watching hockey for over 15 years and covers the Vancouver Canucks for The Hockey Writers.