Thatcher Demko

DiPietro gets surprising call to join Canucks



By Sam Obermyer


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Michael DiPietro’s promotion to the NHL may not have happened as he scripted but it’s an experience he’ll never forget.

“Definitely a cool opportunity stepping on that ice today, soaking it all in and being around the guys,” DiPietro said after serving as the backup goalie for the Vancouver Canucks in their 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night.

The Amherstburg native was called up to join the Canucks on an emergency basis after Thatcher Demko was injured in the pregame warmup prior to Vancouver’s Monday night game in Philadelphia.

“I was pretty surprised,” said DiPietro who was playing in the OHL for the Ottawa 67’s. “I was actually at my billet house when it happened. Definitely unexpected but a cool call to get.”

The first person DiPietro shared the surprising news with was his father, Vic DiPietro.

“I called Dad and I told him to put it on speaker so my Mom could hear. I told them and they couldn’t really believe it, they were like ‘What?’ It was kind of funny with the way it all went down but I explained it to them and they were super excited. I think I talked to my Dad 15 times since then.”

Michael DiPietro, pictured on the Vancouver Canucks’ Twitter page, looks around the Capital One Arena in Washington prior to Tuesday night’s game. “This is wild. I’m so excited right now,” DiPietro told the Canucks social media page. (Photo courtesy of

DiPietro, 19, said he thought a lot about they people back home who got him to this moment.

“I think of my Dad first of all, and all of the sacrifices he made throughout my life, and everyone in Amherstburg that’s helped me. My family, my friends, who since day one have been there for me. And I think of my town itself, it’s a very small town but they love hockey so it’s something that has been really special.”

Canucks head coach Travis Green said before Tuesday’s game that DiPietro would stay with the Canucks until Demko was able to return. It is unknown how long Demko will be out, he flew back to Vancouver on Tuesday for an MRI.

For however long he stays with the Canucks DiPietro is going to make the most of this opportunity.

“To be around the guys at this point in the season battling for a playoff spot and everything, it’s pretty intense. But it’s pretty cool and it’s something that I’m just soaking in and trying to stay out of their way. Just trying to pick their brains a bit as well.”

Fellow Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson said this experience will benefit DiPietro.

“It’s great for him that he can see how it is here because in the future he’s going to be in the NHL.”


Sam Obermyer is a supervisor, SiriusXM D.C. Sports Newsroom