Saturday, June 27, 2015

Devan Dubnyk Autograph Card

I couldn't think of a better card to sum up the day in the hockey world:
It's card #SOT-DD from Upper Deck's 2012-13 SP Authentic set, part of the Sign Of The Times sub-set, showing Devan Dubnyk sporting the Edmonton Oilers' white (away) uniform, signed on-card in this blue sharpie.

Dubnyk, fresh off winning this year's Bill Masterton Trophy, signed a six-year contract extension today, worth $25M in total. Not bad for a guy who was sent back to the AHL the year before, but pretty much a sign of the times (see what I did there?) that the guy who played for 5 franchises in the past two seasons now surpasses the three goalies who were already with the Minnesota Wild at the beginning of the 2014-15 season, creating the league's biggest goalie controversy at the time.

And this on the same day where the Oilers nabbed Cam Talbot in a trade with the New York Rangers, Edmonton being the team who tried the likes of Ilya Bryzgalov, Ben Scrivens, Viktor Fasth, Jason LaBarbera, Richard Bachman, Tyler Bunz and Laurent Brossoît with varying levels of small success in replacing the relatively underwhelming Dubnyk since 2013-14.

A lot of people are high on Talbot after he kept the Rangers in contention when Henrik Lundqvist went down with an injury, but they fail to keep in mind he was playing behind the best defense in the East; the same had been said of Scrivens behind the Los Angeles Kings defense, Fasth with the Anaheim Ducks, and Bryz with then-defensive powerhouse Phoenix Coyotes.

I'm not sure how much of Dubnyk's Vezina-caliber season was because of the Wild's back end and system, how much was him fulfilling his talent and expectations, or just the focus he had while fighting for the right to keep playing at any level, but we'll see soon enough. As will Darcy Kuemper and Niklas Backstrom...

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