Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko placed on LTIR with knee injury

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The Vancouver Canucks placed goalie Thatcher Demko on long-term injury reserve retroactively Wednesday with a knee injury, the team announced. Forward Arshdeep Bains has been recalled from the Abbotsford Canucks in the AHL in the corresponding move.

Canucks fans shouldn’t worry about what this means for Demko. He was likely just placed on LTIR retroactively to create cap space/a roster spot for Arshdeep Bains’ recall. Bains’ recall creates extra forward insurance which, if anything, could say something about Elias Lindholm’s injury status. Lindholm was not on the ice for Wednesday’s practice per Sportsnet 650’s Brendan Batchelor.

For a player to be placed on LTIR, they need to miss at least 10 games. Demko has been placed on LTIR retroactive to when he first got hurt against the Winnipeg Jets, with the Canucks playing six games since then. Based on that math, he’d need to miss four more games and would be eligible to return on April 6 against the Kings. That potential activation timeline isn’t out of the ordinary considering the timeline for Demko’s injury.

Demko, 28, hasn’t played since March 9 when he was sidelined against the Jets. Demko gingerly left the club’s 5-0 victory over the Jets and was replaced by Casey DeSmith. On March 12, Demko was listed as week to week with the injury, according to Canucks coach Rick Tocchet.

Before getting injured, Demko played at a Vezina Trophy level this season. He has a 34-13-2 record with a 2.47 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. Demko’s 34 wins are second in the NHL among goalies, trailing Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (37).

As the Canucks’ backup goalie, DeSmith is 11-6-6 in 25 games played, with a 2.73 GAA and a .899 SV%. Bains has 14 goals and 35 assists in 53 games played for Abbotsford this season.

Vancouver is 45-19-8 and first in the Pacific Division. The Canucks are two points back of the New York Rangers for first place in the entire league. Vancouver hasn’t won a Presidents Trophy since 2011-12.

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(Photo: Bob Frid / USA Today)

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