The Vancouver Canucks have brought back a veteran minor league goaltender, signing Richard Bachman to a two-year, two-way contract. Sportsnet’s Rick Dhaliwal reports (Twitter link) that the deal pays $675K at the AHL level and $275K in the minors while containing an annual guarantee of $300K per season. Bachman was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer after spending the year with the Utica Comets of the AHL.
Bachman, 30, has played mentor to top Vancouver prospect Thatcher Demko the last few seasons, and helped the Comets to an impressive 38-26-12 record this year despite their obvious shortcomings on offense. He and Demko will probably return as the AHL tandem next season, unless Vancouver decides to move out one of their NHL goaltenders.
In that role, Bachman is perfect for the Canucks going forward. The team isn’t sure when exactly they’ll be contending for the Stanley Cup, and need every positive influence they can on their next wave of talent. Demko especially looks like he’s destined for great things in the NHL, and will hopefully take another step forward in his development next year. Though Bachman does have 47 NHL games under his belt, he won’t be asked very often to fill that role for the next couple of years.