Photo credit:Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Demers recalls his 700th NHL game
27 days ago
Jason Demers wasn’t with the Edmonton Oilers for long, but the impact the organization had on his career is something he is grateful for.
Demers was on the final couple of holes when he joined the Oilers from the KHL ahead of the 2022-23 season. He hadn’t played a game in the NHL since the 2020-21 season when he was with the San Jose Sharks. Initially signed to a professional tryout contract, he was eventually inked an American Hockey League deal where he played 57 games for the Bakersfield Condors, providing leadership and experience to a young group of Oilers prospects.
On April 6th, 2023, the Oilers called up Demers from the minors to give him his 700th NHL game versus the San Jose Sharks, his former team. In a recent interview on the Dropping The Gloves podcast with John Scott, his former San Jose Sharks teammate, Demers spoke about that moment.
“I went into the season trying to get that,” said Demers on wanting to play his 700th game. “That was goal after having back surgery because if I hadn’t had the surgery I probably never would’ve been in that situation. The Oilers knew that but we were getting close to the end of the season and I thought maybe they forgot. I actually ended up getting injured which resulted in Vincent Desharnais getting called up instead of me, which worked out great.”
“We’re getting into the last month or so of the season,” continued Demers. “We were in San Jose playing the Barracuda and I looked down the bench and saw Dan Boyle sat in the stands flipping me off. He ended up texted Woody (Jay Woodcroft) about it but I am not sure if he was one of the determining factors. Then three days later, got called up to play in San Jose.”
Demers had a similar opportunity to hit his 700th game in San Jose when he was with the Coyotes. However, Arizona opted to healthy scratch him, which they did many times that season, preventing the achievement from happening.
Following the action that night versus San Jose, Logan Couture talked about how Demers had been a healthy scratch late in the pandemic-shortened 2021 season while with the Arizona Coyotes.
“Happy to see him get a chance to play 700 games,” said Couture. “I talked to him after he was done in Arizona, and he has a little upset about the way that ended. I think they scratched him a few times near the end of the season at 699 when they were out of the playoffs. As a fellow player, that didn’t sit too well with a lot of guys.”
“But good on Edmonton and [Jay Woodcroft] to bring him up and play in this building for 700. I think that speaks about the type of person that Woody is over there behind the bench.”
Demers played 10:44 in his one game for the Oilers registering three hits, one shot and finishing -1. Edmonton ultimately won the game 6-1 with two goals from Connor McDavid and others from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Zach Hyman, Derek Ryan and Philip Broberg, his first career goal.
“It was a sell-out crowd that game,” said Demers, recalling the event. “They gave me a good shoutout on the jumbotron; all my family was there, and it was an incredible experience. As a player, you don’t always get to choose the way you go out and it’s a privilege to choose the way you go. I am super grateful for that.”
Demers finished his NHL career with 45 goals and 169 assists for 217 points. He played in 61 playoff games and played in 700 games for the San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars, Arizona Coyotes and Edmonton Oilers.
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