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  • Devan Dubnyk Deal was a Risk Worth Taking


    And now, Offseason Priority #1 has been taken care of. The Wild have agreed to terms with Devan Dubnyk, with the deal giving Dubnyk 26 million dollars over 6 years (4.33 AAV).


    You know the rest. Dubnyk became the lynchpin in the Wild's second half success, where they surged from the bottom of the standings to a playoff spot. Along the way, Dubnyk's suberb play elevated himself into a Vezina nomination, and even some Hart Trophy talk.

    He also went from a Free Agent afterthought last season to being considered the top option at his position this season. All of a sudden, Devan Dubnyk was in position to get a lot of money and security for himself.

    On the other side of the negotiating table, Chuck Fletcher was hoping to get a good deal on his new goalie. The Wild are up against the upper limit of the salary cap for the foreseeable future, so the priority for Chuck Fletcher was to not overpay on this contract.


    These concerns are legitimate, in that signing a veteran player for a 6-year deal is inherently a risky proposition. But the fear that Dubnyk is an average goalie is fairly unfounded. Before his disastrous 13-14 season, Dubnyk had a great track record of success in Edmonton, even if the players in front of him were a dumpster fire.

    From the 10-11 season to the 12-13 season (of goalies with 3000+ minutes), Dubnyk was 21st out of 42 goalies in 5v5 Save Percentage (92.38). Now On the surface, this is a middle-of-the-pack performance, but the raw numbers really do not convey the degree of difficulty that Dubnyk faced behind the Oilers defense.

    In that span, the Oilers were one of the worst defenses in hockey. Not only in terms of the amount of shots they allowed, but the quality of chances allowed. The Oilers were 3rd-worst in the league in High-Danger Scoring Chances, allowing 12.6 of them every 60 minutes.

    Everyone seems to have gotten what they want with the framework of this deal. Dubnyk got security, which he'll find welcome after being out of the league at the end of last season. Chuck Fletcher got a bit of relief against the salary cap (and he didn't even need to include a No-Move Clause to do it!). The players get stability in net for the first time since Josh Harding's MS diagnosis.

    Again, this deal has risk associated with it. We don't know if Dubnyk will be able to be healthy for the next 6 seasons. We don't know if he'll be a solid player at the end of his contract, when he'll be 35. But when you look at his track record, his value to the Wild in the near-term, and his cap hit in comparison to the rest of the league, this is a risk the Minnesota Wild pretty much had to take.

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