Canucks re-sign Spencer Martin to be new backup goalie

The 26 year old impressed in three emergency starts in January and is expected to back up Thatcher Demko next season.

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The Vancouver Canucks have lined up Thatcher Demko’s next backup.

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The NHL team announced Friday they’ve signed Spencer Martin to a two-year, one-way contract extension.

He’ll make US$750,000 in the first year of the deal, US$775,000 in the second.

“We’re pleased with the success Spencer has had this season, not only in the American Hockey League but also during his stint with Vancouver earlier this year,” Canucks GM Patrik Allvin said in a statement. “He has been very reliable for Abbotsford, contributing greatly to their Calder Cup playoff berth earlier this month, and has shown an ability to perform in high-pressure situations.”

The Canucks signed the 26 year old Martin last summer, initially to be the fifth goalie on the depth chart. A top goalie prospect in junior, he’d struggled to make an impact in the NHL, with just three appearances five years ago for the Colorado Avalanche to his name.

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Martin served as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s third stringer on their way to their second Stanley Cup last season, but never got into a game.

He started this season in Abbotsford but didn’t play for a month. Instead, he got to work with AHL goalie coach Curtis Sanford.

Once he’s finally started to play games for Abbotsford, he’s seized the No. 1 spot away from prospects Mike DiPietro and Arturs Silovs. So far this season he’s 17-4-2, with a 2.39 goals-against average and an impressive .918 save percentage. He’s posted three shutouts, third in the league.

When the Canucks were hammered by COVID-19 in January, losing both starter Thatcher Demko and backup Jaroslav Halák, Martin was called on to make his first start in three years. He was outstanding, posting a .958 save percentage, doing everything he could to give his team a chance to win.

He made 113 saves and gave up just five goals across his three starts but the Canucks’ offense struggled and he only recorded one win.

A native of Oakville, Ontario, Martin was selected by Colorado in the third round, 63rd overall, in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

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