April 8: Martin has indeed signed a one-way contract, and a two-year deal at that. The team announced the contract today, with general manager Patrik Allvin releasing the following statement:
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. 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.
Dhaliwal reports that the deal will carry the league minimum of $750K in 2022-23 and $775K in 2023-24.
April 7: For three games in January, the Vancouver Canucks were forced to rely on minor league journeyman Spencer Martin in net. All he did in those games was stop 113 of 118 shots, including a 47-save performance to secure a point in overtime against the Edmonton Oilers. Now, he may end up with his reward. Rick Dhaliwal of CHEK TV reports that the Canucks are discussing a new contract with Martin, who could become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and that the expectation is it would be a one-way deal.
Martin, 26, was a third-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2013, but has bounced around the minor leagues without a lot of extended success. He’s played for the Fort Wayne Komets, San Antonio Rampage, Colorado Eagles, Orlando Solar Bears, and Syracuse Crunch before reaching the Canucks, only ever entering three NHL games back in 2016-17.
Last year, he signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning and then was traded just a few months later for nothing more than future considerations. That move has proved a savvy one for the Canucks, who not only received those three NHL performances, but also a goaltender that has put up a 17-4-2 record in the minor leagues with Abbotsford.
The Canucks, meanwhile, have received inconsistent backup play from Jaroslav Halak, who is also a pending unrestricted free agent and will turn 37 next month. A potential extension for Martin could put him in line to be the regular NHL backup next season, or at very worst a strong third-string option. If he does earn a one-way contract, it will be for the first time in his career.