Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wade Dubielewicz Autographed Card

The New York Islanders had initially gotten away with sending Jaroslav Halak to their AHL affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers, but shoddy goaltending has been an issue for the past two weeks, while Halak's thriving on his own:
Thomas Greiss is showing definite signs of fatigue and Jean-François Bérubé isn't ready to be a full-time NHLer, so the Isles need Halak to step in and save his team's playoff hopes the same way he did for the Montréal Canadiens for most of his tenure there.

Those are the facts.

It wasn't too long ago that the Isles were a dismal team, bottom-feeders with the likes of the Phoenix Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers. They had the worst arena in the league, no free agents wanted to play there, they were on every player's no-trade list, and the end result was that it iced teams made up of second-tier players.

From 2003-04 until 2007-08, one of their backup goaltenders was Wade Dubielewicz; sure, he mostly played in the AHL and his statistics regressed every year, but he still had a .919 save percentage in his final season with the team. Unfortunately, he was cast aside in favor of Rick DiPietro and Yann Danis, so he opted to play in the KHL the following season, signing with Kazan Ak-Bars.

21 games in, he wanted back, so he signed on with the Islanders when DiPietro got injured, but had to clear waivers first; of course, the Columbus Blue Jackets claimed him. And regretted it, as did the Minnesota Wild for signing him as a free agent the following year:
There are some players who are expected to remain with one team, who fit best in just one specific spot. I believe the Isles were the team for Dubielewicz. Which is why whenever I think "Islanders goalie problems", this is the card and picture that pops in my mind:
It's card #372 from Upper Deck's 2007-08 Series 2 set, showing him wearing the Islanders' white Reebok Edge (away) uniform with a mask featuring the infamous Fisherman that uniform geeks like myself remember fondly. It's just such a perfect card.

No comments:

Post a Comment