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NHL Notebook: Canucks Thatcher Demko takes shots at practice, could be option against Oilers

Vancouver Canucks Thatcher Demko
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
The Vancouver Canucks could be coming to an interesting fork in the road in the coming days.
While Arturs Silovs has been a big story for them taking over the crease from an injured Thatcher Demko and Casey DeSmith, it sounds like at least one of those goalies could return from injury as soon as this weekend.
During an appearance on Oilersnation Everyday with Tyler Yaremchuk, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli fielded a question about the Canucks goaltending situation, saying Demko has begun facing shots with the team.
“Now it starts to get really interesting for Van,” said Seravalli. “The update that I have is that Demko has started to take shots.
“He’s not yet ramped it up to 100 percent, not going to play in Game 5, but Game 6, Saturday night, I think is still on the table. It would be crazy if they did it, only because Silovs has shown no signs of cracking. He’s been good.
“But when your season is on the line, potentially, if the Oilers win Game 5, do you trot out one of the three or five best goalies in hockey?”
In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, Seravalli added that Demko hasn’t participated in a practice yet, nor ramped up to 100 percent.
Silovs has the eighth-most ice time among goaltenders in these playoffs, playing 420 minutes across seven games. According to Evolving-Hockey, he’s posted a .907 save percentage in them, stopping 3.72 goals above expected, the sixth-most in the playoffs.
His play has been a big reason Vancouver was able to beat the Nashville Predators in the first round of the playoffs, and his game in the second round against the Oilers has allowed the Canucks to stay in the battle.
During a media availability Wednesday, Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet said he wasn’t ready to talk about if Demko would be available for them.
“I don’t really want to go that far, all I know is he’s improved immensely in the last 72 hours,” he said. “I can give you that. I’m not going to give you a percentage, but it’s better than 10 percent. The last two, three days, has made some strides, big strides.”

Ex-Oiler Matt Hendricks named AHL Wild GM

Ex-Edmonton Oilers forward Matt Hendricks has taken a big step forward in his post-playing career, being named the general manager of the AHL’s Iowa Wild.
The promotion was announced by the organization Wednesday.
Hendricks, 42, hung up his skates after the 2018-19 season, transitioning the following season to a role with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild as their assistant director of player development. He’s expected to maintain that role while taking on his new duties with the AHL’s Wild.
Drafted by the Nashville Predators in the fifth round of the 2000 draft, Hendricks went the NCAA rank, taking years to break into the NHL. But when he did with the Colorado Avalanche in 2009-10, he stuck. He spent time with the Avalanche, Washington Capitals and Predators before being acquired by the Edmonton Oilers in 2013-14.
He would spend three and a half seasons in Edmonton, becoming a fan favourite, before joining the Winnipeg Jets as a free agent in 2017-18, before being acquired by the Wild the following year. He retired after that year before making his transition to the front office.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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