Vancouver inked journeyman third-stringer Richard Bachman to a one-year extension on Wednesday, locking up the veteran through 2018.
On its own, the signing isn’t huge news.
Bachman, 28, has bounced around over the last few years, appearing in 32 games with the Stars, Oilers and Canucks. He’s spent most of his time in the AHL, and that looks to continue next season with Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom manning Vancouver’s net.
That said, the Bachman signing does have significance for the Canucks.
Under the NHL’s expansion draft rules, every team is required to have two forwards, one defenceman and one goalie available for selection.
Last week, the team signed Jacob Markstrom to a three-year extension, leaving him and the draft-exempt Thatcher Demko as the only goalies under contract heading into 2017-18.
As things stood, Markstrom would have had to be exposed for the draft which will stock the new Las Vegas squad.
So Bachman, who had one year left on his current contract, will fill the “you’re getting exposed” role, though that won’t be only thing he does. He played quite a bit for AHL Utica last season — 35 games — and will probably do the same this year while mentoring Demko.
The real question now is, who backs up Markstrom after next season? Miller is a pending UFA, Bachman has never proven to be a reliable No. 2 and it would be asking a lot of Demko to make the leap after just one year of pro hockey.