Friday, June 30, 2017

Jordan Eberle & Devan Dubnyk Jersey Card

Here is a card that features two players who are no longer playing with the team they are featured in on the card, the Edmonton Oilers, Jordan Eberle and Devan Dubnyk:
It's #U-DE from Fleer's 2013-14 Showcase set and Uniformity sub-set by Upper Deck, with blue game-worn jersey swatches from each player. It's the same set as this previously-featured card of Eberle's.

Indeed, Eberle was sent to the New York Islanders for prospect Ryan Strome, in what seems to be both a reaction to Eberle failing to produce in the playoffs and a move to clear up cap space for Connor McDavid's next contract, which will definitely not be a bridge deal and should make him the league's highest-paid player.

For the record, in my opinion, McDavid should be offered a two-year deal paying somewhere in the $7-9M range (per) before surpassing the likes of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin on his next one, if only so he can have another Art Ross- and Hart-winning season to prove he is now the best forward in the league; it's not like $7-9M is bad money, either...

Eberle could very well have a 40-goal season playing alongside Isles captain John Tavares, so this move is an excellent one for GM Garth Snow, who clearly got the best player in the deal, although Strome could make Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli happy by producing alongside either McDavid or Leon Draisaitl. This move ensures Snow qualifies as one of the five best GMs in the NHL in the past five years with how he's improved his team, alongside Steve Yzerman (amazing signings thanks to Florida's tax laws, and shrewd trades), Stan Bowman (the best in the league in managing the salary cap, replacing high-paid players with fine prospects and signing returning veteran free agents to cap-friendly/low-paying deals, though I think he got hosed in the Artemi Panarin trade), Jim Rutherford (sure, he was dealt a great hand by inheriting a contender with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but his cap management and the team's development program combine to take the Pens' dynasty from a "could-have-been" to a "longer-than-it-should-have"), and Dale Tallon (who, after building the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks championship team, built a division winner with the Florida Panthers, only to have it be taken apart by his successor in a single summer, now tasked with building another one a year later).

Dubnyk leaving Edmonton has to do with the team's previous administration's inability to draft or build a defense in a decade of rebuilding, leaving half a dozen goalies helpless in trying to stop odd-man rushes and looking awful in the process, so bad that Dubnyk even spent time with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs when the Montréal Canadiens acquired his rights from the Nashville Predators in an eventful 2013-14 campaign that saw him play for three separate organizations before signing on with a fourth one as a free agent - the Phoenix Coyotes - in the off-season.

Then, at the 2014-15 trade deadline, the Coyotes traded Dubnyk - their best goalie that year - to the Minnesota Wild, enabling them to make the playoffs and immediately turning them into a division-lead contender. In two of the last three seasons, Dubnyk was the second-best goalie in the league, which made him a finalist for the Vezina once (should have been twice, as Carey Price should not have been a finalist this year), finished fourth in Hart voting, and won the Bill Masterton Trophy.

Two award-winning Team Canada alumni that the Oilers had to get rid of to be the playoff team they are today - and the Cup contenders they hope to be for the next decade.

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