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Canucks Turned Down Matt Dumba Trade When Ask Was Thatcher Demko [Report]

The Vancouver Canucks had an opportunity to land Matt Dumba during the offseason. The ask was high and GM Jim Benning decided against it.

Thatcher Demko Matt Dumba Trade

It’s pretty clear the Vancouver Canucks need to do something. Rumors of a trade are out there, as is speculation the GM’s job is on the hot seat. There’s been talk the Canucks are shopping both Jake Virtanen and Adam Gaudette but no one is biting. Something bigger needs to happen to shake up this roster or this 2020-21 NHL season is going to slip away from the team, if it hasn’t already.

Related: Canucks May Move on from GM Jim Benning Thanks to Toffoli Debacle

All that said, some trades are simply too risky to pull the trigger on.

This just in from David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period: “During the off-season, Canucks GM Jim Benning tried to move out salary. He just wasn’t willing to pay the premium to do it.”

The scribe goes on to suggest that the Canucks tried to move out Loui Eriksson’s contract with little success. The asking price was incredibly high if a team was going to take on that kind of an albatross contract. Pagnotta also says the team looked into moving Brandon Sutter, but that didn’t take.

The stories of the Canucks going after Oliver Ekmann-Larsson are well documented. The team landed defenseman Nate Schmidt, instead.

But, what might be among the more interesting comments made by Pagnotta during the article is the following:

The Canucks also tried to get Matt Dumba from the Wild before free agency, but talks centered around Demko (not Brock Boeser) and a Minnesota source confirmed the ask included the 25-year-old netminder.

In other words, the Wild were willing to trade the Dumba to Vancouver, but only if the Canucks sent Demko back as part of the deal. Benning had no interest in doing so.

Thatcher Demko Vancouver Canucks
Thatcher Demko Vancouver Canucks

Hard to Argue With Benning on That One

This trade, had it gone down, would have been a polarizing one. Some Canucks’ fans would argue there’s no way you trade an up-and-coming goalie for a defenseman with three years remaining on his deal at $6 million per season. Others might have liked the idea of Dumba on the blue line, especially considering the Canucks signed Braden Holtby.

Either way, not only would that have been a difficult trade to sell personnel wise, but the salaries between the two players are vastly different. There would have been considerable cap juggling to do and Benning has already proven he’s not exactly deft at crunching the numbers.

In a season where the Canucks already lost a fantastic goalie in Jacob Markstom, could you imagine how it would have looked if both Demko and Markstrom were in different uniforms this season?

Next: Maple Leafs’ Zach Hyman’s Moving Back to First-Line Role

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