Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Devan Dubnyk Dual Jersey Card

I know I talked about Devan Dubnyk a couple of months ago, but the Arizona Coyotes have just traded him to the goaltender-depleted Minnesota Wild for a third-round pick.

The Wild desperately needed goaltending help. Josh Harding was playing like a Vezina Trophy candidate last season despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but he has not played since Dec. 31, 2013 because of complications with the treatment of the disease and a broken foot sustained during training camp.
Darcy Kuemper has a .902 save percentage) and Niklas Backstrom is at .887; they are 35th and 40th, respectively, out of 42 qualified goaltenders this season.
So, sure, Dubnyk might solve some of the Wild's woes short-term, but he remains a pending free agent at the end of the season, so not only is this just a stop-gap measure and borderline panic move on the part of GM Chuck Fletcher, but possibly his last hope of saving head coach Mike Yeo's job by the end of the week (and his own by the end of the season).

And while I stand by some of my message-board posts pinning 80% of the Wild's problems on their goaltending and its subsequent taking the wind out of the rest of the players' game, the team's been playing terrible defensive zone coverage of late, leaving gaping 2-on-1s and 3-on-1s too often. That will need to be addressed so that Dubnyk can perform (or at least attempt to perform) the miracle of turning this team's fortunes around.

In any event, unlike the asking price for other goalies Fletcher may have gone for, a third-round pick isn't so costly, though it's one for this year, a supposedly deep draft.

On the other hand, Coyotes GM Don Maloney also got rid of a potential problem, as Dubnyk was outplaying starter (and highly-paid) Mike Smith - and by a wide margin at that. By getting rid of the low-cost free-agent-to-be, he avoids a goaltending controversy... and enters the First Draft Pick derby almost unofficially.

But I'm happy I get to feature another card of Dubnyk's wearing the Edmonton Oilers' beautiful classic white (now-away) uniform, from Upper Deck's 2013-14 Black Diamond set (#EDM-DD of the Double Diamond Jerseys sub-set), featuring orange and blue game-worn swatches:

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