OVER (PAY) TO YOU, DEVAN

Robin Brownlee
July 05 2012 07:44PM

With the two-year deal the Edmonton Oilers just gave him, Devan Dubnyk could walk away from hockey in the summer of 2014 and never play another NHL game and he'd have more money in his jeans than you or I will make in a lifetime.

Having bumped Dubnyk's salary from $800,000 a season to $3.5 million a year through 2013-14, that's not the plan, of course. Money talks, and the Oilers have given a clear indication they don’t expect the six-foot-five puck stopper to be going anywhere anytime soon. That will play out in the next 24 months.

Simply put, the contract tendered Dubnyk is extremely generous, and then some. Plain and simple, it's an overpay to a restricted free agent who has yet to establish himself as a bonafide No. 1 goaltender. I'm not saying Dubnyk can’t or won't do so, because the former Kamloops Blazers is clearly a better option than the fading Nikolai Khabibulin. I'm simply saying he hasn’t done it yet.

Whether the contract is a touch rich or not, the price point GM Steve Tambellini and the front office pegged Dubnyk at sends a message to him and the team in front of him – the Oilers are confident he can and will be the go-to guy in the blue paint moving forward.

That vote of confidence hasn't been lost on the 26-year-old Dubnyk, who went 20-23-3 with a 2.67 goals-against average and a .914 saves percentage in 47 games (42 starts) last season. In 101 NHL games with the Oilers, Dubnyk is 36-43-13 with a 2.85 GAA and .910 saves percentage.

READY TO GO

"It's a huge boost of confidence," said Dubnyk, who has gone from making really good money and being single to making really great money and being married in the last couple of weeks. "It's very important to get that faith and that backing from the team. They certainly showed that. It's just exciting going forward."

My first inclination is that faith in Dubnyk is well-founded and that the message sent is justified. That guarantees nothing, of course, but I don't see the commitment by the Oilers as a shot in the dark, even if it's $1 million or so more a season than I'd have put on the table. It's not my money.

Given the statement the contract makes, Dubnyk will be the clear-cut No. 1 guy ahead of Khabibulin and that will likely translate to 55-60 games this coming season playing behind a team that should be markedly better than he's stood in for since breaking into the line-up in 2009-10.

Dubnyk has the ball, and the money, now. I'd be willing to bet he runs with it rather than walking anywhere two years from now. My guess is Dubnyk will turn into that bonafide No. 1 stopper. How will he stack up in the big NHL picture? I don't know. That, as is always the case, is up to him.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

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A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 jeanshorts
July 06 2012, 12:30AM
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I mean, it's not like they paid 4 million per to a guy who's only played 66 career games while actively trying to ship out arguably one of the top 10 goalies in the league or anything.

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#52 Pouzar99
July 06 2012, 12:37AM
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Save percentage comparisons are only meaningful when the number and quality of chances faced are similar. Your 20-0 record fighting only tomato cans pales in meaning compared to another guy's 16-2 against the best competition.

Did anyone watch any Bruin, Stars or Blues games last year? Would you say that Rask, Halak and Lehtonen faced the same number and quality of shots as Dubnyk? How many times was making the first save enough for those guys? How about in Dubnyk's case? I could go on, but lets just stay stats are like dynamite. They can be effective but they can also blow up in your face if you don't use them correctly.

Those figures MIGHT be useful for comparing Rask, Halak and Lehtonen, all of whom played behind stellar defenses, but not to Dubnyk, whose worst enemies were usually teammates.

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#53 Dubai Guy
July 06 2012, 12:40AM
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With the luck the Oilers have had since game 82 was in the books, I have a feeling this decision will work out for the Oil. A little generous, but at least it displays a definite role for Duby.

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#54 Rocknrolla
July 06 2012, 01:54AM
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I like the bet...definitely overpay but I hope it pays off.

Scary thing for me is the 0 playoff games played in ahl/NHL.

Great goalie is different than a winner.

@quicksilver ballet

http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/nhl/players/686/career

Wow... good time to take a peek at that career stat for brodeur. That is a winner right there. Hope this bet pays off, and Duby can learn to win with the core. Great foundation, but may take a while to be that true winner.

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#55 sizedoesmatter
July 06 2012, 05:19AM
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now that the NHL has gone back to the trap.It would be fun to have a team like the 80's Oilers that would out score the other team at will.Grant Fuhr would just have to make one or two "Big" saves.grants save % was always near the bottom but the wins were near the top.I hope Devan can make timely saves and stop letting in the back breakers.And then the team can simply just out score the other team.

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#56 oilersplumber
July 06 2012, 07:12AM
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I am quite sure that if he/they put the numbers up that no one will really care whether he's over or under paid. Lets talk Jason Bonsignore in camp in Banff years back....Steve Kelly....as a pick.......Pete Ketella.........sports history littered with bad decisions, we all know that. Time and only time will tell us about this contract.

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#57 pelhem grenville
July 06 2012, 07:20AM
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...this is total BS ... almost a four and a half times raise in his salary and he's done what ???

for gawds sake thanks for warning me ... how do i get these eight cherrios outta my nasal passage ...

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#58 mayorpoop
July 06 2012, 07:49AM
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i'm ok with this contract.

we bitch and moan (smytty) when management dilly dallies over contract money and complain when we don't pay up and then players (glencross) leave.

as stated on puck daddy, he is 22nd for goalies in cap hit. he is the starting goalie now and this is what starting goalies shold be in the range of.

paying someone a reasonable amount money relative to potential is not absurd. only 2 years.

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#59 James
July 06 2012, 08:00AM
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Pouzar99 -

Your theory was proven wrong when Roberto Luongo went from the Panthers to the Canucks.

.920 .915 .918 .931 .914 .921 .917 .920 .913 .928

Which set of 5 years are from Florida? Which are from Vancouver? Who knows, because the quality of shots in front of him made no difference. The goalie is the most important part of defence, he either makes the saves or doesn't.

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#60 Rick
July 06 2012, 08:14AM
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Talk about rewarding failure.

Money aside, Dubnyk obviously was getting re-upped this summer. The bigger worry is the obvious statement this contract makes in terms of how they view the goaltending going forward.

There is what, all of probably one guy in the Oilers nation that is absolutely convinced Dubnyk can be a legit starter capable of taking this team to the next level?

Too bad he happens to be the GM of the team.

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#61 Zamboni Driver
July 06 2012, 08:35AM
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This one actually makes me laugh.

I actually don't know if Dubnyk is any good (I actually think he has 'career backup' on a t-shirt underneath his XXL gear, but who knows?)

The funniest thing...the 'braintrust' strikes again.

Robin is right, not our money but..

Someone REALLY needs to explain to me - WHY?

Why in the world reward a sort of okay-ish goalie (anyone who says he's any better than that is dreaming in hideous blue and orange) with this much of a raise?

did they think someone was going to steal him away?

Really?

I think Spec or someone connected should do a quick straw poll of GMs in the NHL. Give them 5 seconds to answer this question. "Who is the Edmonton Oilers starting goalie?" I would bet the lunch money my mom gives me every morning that 98% of them say either "Uhhhhhhhhh........."

or "Khabibulin, isn't it?"

And for this...the geniuses that have brought you last, last, second last pay nearly $4 mil for "Oh yeah, the tall guy.".

Yeah, it really brings hope that things might turn around.

Ever.

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#62 michael
July 06 2012, 08:52AM
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Make that 2 people who believe that Dubnyk can can/will be the number 1 starter this season. An improved defence along with a lethal offence should see the puck more often in the opponents net than ours. He has shown steady progress and has brought his game to a level that is in my opinion is comparable to his peers. I think the contract definitely sends a message. Its say your our guy. It also says we value you.

We can argue dollars and cents but given the NHL's lack of goaltending locking up DD to a 2 year contract is wise and recognizes that moving forward that there will be a lack of goalies on the market in the future as teams look to lock up thier tenders to longer term contracts.

If I look around the league DD's peers are slowly finding themselves in prime roles. Tukka Rask,James Reimer and so on. The Martin Brodeurs of the league are waning. Nk will be done at the end of the season. Turco done. Roloson done. The next generation awaits and DD is part of that changing of the gaurd.

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#63 Dman09
July 06 2012, 08:52AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

This one actually makes me laugh.

I actually don't know if Dubnyk is any good (I actually think he has 'career backup' on a t-shirt underneath his XXL gear, but who knows?)

The funniest thing...the 'braintrust' strikes again.

Robin is right, not our money but..

Someone REALLY needs to explain to me - WHY?

Why in the world reward a sort of okay-ish goalie (anyone who says he's any better than that is dreaming in hideous blue and orange) with this much of a raise?

did they think someone was going to steal him away?

Really?

I think Spec or someone connected should do a quick straw poll of GMs in the NHL. Give them 5 seconds to answer this question. "Who is the Edmonton Oilers starting goalie?" I would bet the lunch money my mom gives me every morning that 98% of them say either "Uhhhhhhhhh........."

or "Khabibulin, isn't it?"

And for this...the geniuses that have brought you last, last, second last pay nearly $4 mil for "Oh yeah, the tall guy.".

Yeah, it really brings hope that things might turn around.

Ever.

This must be a joke. So the guy plays a good half a season at the league average(stats wise) and then gets paid like a 12 year vet with a stanley cup ring. Hmmmm ya because that makes a whole lot of sense. I'm having a really hard time supporting the Oilers when I hear sh*t like this. When your job is to get as much bang for your buck, someone send Tambo a memo, and you make a deal like this it shows how completely out of touch with things he really is.

Hey Tambo, do you got to McDonalds and pay $200 for a meal when you walk in and hope they bring you a 5 star meal????? Because thats what this signing is looking like right.

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#64 Dman09
July 06 2012, 08:53AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

This one actually makes me laugh.

I actually don't know if Dubnyk is any good (I actually think he has 'career backup' on a t-shirt underneath his XXL gear, but who knows?)

The funniest thing...the 'braintrust' strikes again.

Robin is right, not our money but..

Someone REALLY needs to explain to me - WHY?

Why in the world reward a sort of okay-ish goalie (anyone who says he's any better than that is dreaming in hideous blue and orange) with this much of a raise?

did they think someone was going to steal him away?

Really?

I think Spec or someone connected should do a quick straw poll of GMs in the NHL. Give them 5 seconds to answer this question. "Who is the Edmonton Oilers starting goalie?" I would bet the lunch money my mom gives me every morning that 98% of them say either "Uhhhhhhhhh........."

or "Khabibulin, isn't it?"

And for this...the geniuses that have brought you last, last, second last pay nearly $4 mil for "Oh yeah, the tall guy.".

Yeah, it really brings hope that things might turn around.

Ever.

This must be a joke. So the guy plays a good half a season at the league average(stats wise) and then gets paid like a 12 year vet with a stanley cup ring. Hmmmm ya because that makes a whole lot of sense. I'm having a really hard time supporting the Oilers when I hear sh*t like this. When your job is to get as much bang for your buck, someone send Tambo a memo, and you make a deal like this it shows how completely out of touch with things he really is.

Hey Tambo, do you got to McDonalds and pay $200 for a meal when you walk in and hope they bring you a 5 star meal????? Because thats what this signing is looking like right.

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#65 pelhem grenville
July 06 2012, 09:35AM
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mayorpoop said..."paying someone a reasonable amount money relative to potential is not absurd. only 2 years..."

i soooo beg to differ with your take on how this 4 and half times raise in salary is relative to "potential"... starter schmarter...

where will this '11-'12 'backup' take this team?...possibly on his back and garner a playoff spot? maybe a round one series win?

all of a sudden Katz ponies up a 'reasonable' 3point5 per and he's a starter? who's he gonna backup when ~the wall~ is b-bye after this year and the 'tall kid' didn't live up to his "potential"?

i jus don't think backups make 3point5 per...even if our GM's so desparate to call him a starter...

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#66 Hammers
July 06 2012, 09:38AM
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Good on ya Dubbie . The GM has shown his faith and know you have the ball eh puck . Just stop it . Your going to have a better "D" than last year so you need more wins than losses . This should be your year .

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#67 Team Hall
July 06 2012, 09:41AM
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I have to respectfully disagree with this article. Doobie is a starting goalie in the NHL this year, no? So what is the average wage for a starting goalie with a >910 save percentage? Oh, he's RFA, right. Because RFA's never make big bucks in this league. Ive never seen that before... Carey Price? Schneider? Niemi, Rask, What about little Sam Gagner, should they get him for 1.5M this year? I doubt it, RFA.

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#68 mayorpoop
July 06 2012, 09:43AM
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@pelhem grenville

what would you have offered Josh Harding and for how long? same with Tukka Rask, and Halak (whom had a good playoffs).

he's not a backup. just because he wasn't techinically #1 last year doesn't mean he wasn't #1.

he is the starter this year and this is what starters, in this market, get paid.

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#69 Rama Lama
July 06 2012, 09:43AM
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I think something smells funny........they must be getting rid of Khabibulin, maybe a trade to some desperate hockey team that needs to hit the salary floor.

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#70 DieHard
July 06 2012, 09:44AM
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10% of cap on your goalie tandem is right in line. That is where the Oilers are right now and it goes down next year when the Bulin Wall is gone. This money will not affect the F and D signing ... This is G money. This is also building team confidence. I like this deal at 2 years.

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#71 Dman09
July 06 2012, 09:51AM
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mayorpoop wrote:

@pelhem grenville

what would you have offered Josh Harding and for how long? same with Tukka Rask, and Halak (whom had a good playoffs).

he's not a backup. just because he wasn't techinically #1 last year doesn't mean he wasn't #1.

he is the starter this year and this is what starters, in this market, get paid.

Rask and Halak are better, more proven goaltenders and they make the same money. Take a look at goalies with similar cap hits and tell me which ones Dubnyk is better than. There is a whole list of guys I would rather have.

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#72 pelhem grenville
July 06 2012, 09:52AM
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Josh Harding IS getting a "reasonable" amount of money ...onepointnine cap hit for three years

Rask is being forced into starterdom with Timmy flaking off..crikey mayor Halak bloody near won a Stanley Cup BY HIMSELF soonago!!!

if I go with your take I say ...

the wannabe starters market sucks!!!

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#73 misfit
July 06 2012, 09:56AM
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I made this point elsewhere already, but I don't really think it matters all that much if he's overpaid or not.

If he proves himself to be a bonafide #1 goalie at the end of the deal, then not only will he be worth the money, but he'll get an extension (or sign elsewhere as a UFA) at market value no matter what.

If he still hasn't established himself as a starter over the next two years, then I don't see the Oilers bringing him back whether they were paying him $1M or $6M anually.

So the way I see it, this deal only really impacts the next 2 years. Two years where we'll be well under the cap in the first one, and the $3.75M backup will be off the books in the 2nd.

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#74 Chaz
July 06 2012, 10:06AM
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For a goalie who let in a bad goal almost every game he played in last year this is way too much money. Doesn't leave me feeling confident that Tambo et al will be able to get maximum value for their contracts, and while this isn't a huge issue now, it will be as our young studs move past their entry-level contracts. It's all good though, my bet is that Tambo will be long gone by that time anyways, and our new GM Wayne Gretzky will balance the ledgers!

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#75 ANDY
July 06 2012, 10:17AM
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Is it at all possible that Oiler management and the Dubnyk camp have a handshake agreement, that in the case that Dubnyk does turn out to be a legit #1 tender, he will already have been given an "advance" on any deserved salary increase? This would then ease the ability to sign our young guns that will then be up for huge raises. For the record, I do believe in Dubby, and I see him as the same mould as a Rinne, or Lindback. He has gotten better each year with his movements, and fundamentals.

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#76 Dman09
July 06 2012, 10:18AM
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misfit wrote:

I made this point elsewhere already, but I don't really think it matters all that much if he's overpaid or not.

If he proves himself to be a bonafide #1 goalie at the end of the deal, then not only will he be worth the money, but he'll get an extension (or sign elsewhere as a UFA) at market value no matter what.

If he still hasn't established himself as a starter over the next two years, then I don't see the Oilers bringing him back whether they were paying him $1M or $6M anually.

So the way I see it, this deal only really impacts the next 2 years. Two years where we'll be well under the cap in the first one, and the $3.75M backup will be off the books in the 2nd.

Beg to differ, if Dubby does play really well over the next two seasons he will be demanding that much more of an increase over his current contract. So instead of paying him 2.5 mil now and 4.5-5 later its now, 3.5 now and 5.5+ later. This could actually make things harder when trying to keep all the young stars in a couple years.

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#77 mayorpoop
July 06 2012, 10:22AM
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@pelhem grenville

Josh harding is making back up money.

and just so i'm clear, Halak is worth it cause he "just" about won a cup all by himself and me thinking Dubnyk is worth it because of the last half season (potential)he had are different how?

imo Dubnyk is going to prove the naysayers wrong.

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#78 Dman09
July 06 2012, 10:28AM
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mayorpoop wrote:

@pelhem grenville

Josh harding is making back up money.

and just so i'm clear, Halak is worth it cause he "just" about won a cup all by himself and me thinking Dubnyk is worth it because of the last half season (potential)he had are different how?

imo Dubnyk is going to prove the naysayers wrong.

I'm not so sure people are doubting Dubby can do it, I think its more about getting better value out of your contracts and how Tambo doesn't seem to be able to do that at all. The only exception being the Smyth contract but if I'm being honest I didn't really want them to sign him anyway.

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#79 Will
July 06 2012, 10:41AM
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How is he not a legit starter, His record was 20-20-3, putting him over 50%, plus he played 47 games, which means he only got pulled in four of them. If we need him to play 60 games, that's only 13 more games he needs to play and 17 more he needs to play and finish. I think the fact he only has three overtime wins indicative that the team in front of him couldn't close out games in overtime. Thus I don't think it's unrealistic that in 17 games, Dubnyk could pull out nine more wins.

Whether or not the contract is an overpay is another matter worth debate I guess, but make no mistake, any goalie that's above .500 playing on one of the worst teams in the league would suggest he is the guy for our team.

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#80 mayorpoop
July 06 2012, 10:44AM
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@dman09

i've never been a feverish supporter of Dithers, by any means.

i'm going to say it may be a slight overpayment but again we don't know how the negotiations (or lack thereof) went.

i do maintain that this is not so out reach in 70 million cap ceiling world for a starting goalie. regardless of last year someone has got faith in this kid and so do i.

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#81 Dman09
July 06 2012, 10:54AM
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Will wrote:

How is he not a legit starter, His record was 20-20-3, putting him over 50%, plus he played 47 games, which means he only got pulled in four of them. If we need him to play 60 games, that's only 13 more games he needs to play and 17 more he needs to play and finish. I think the fact he only has three overtime wins indicative that the team in front of him couldn't close out games in overtime. Thus I don't think it's unrealistic that in 17 games, Dubnyk could pull out nine more wins.

Whether or not the contract is an overpay is another matter worth debate I guess, but make no mistake, any goalie that's above .500 playing on one of the worst teams in the league would suggest he is the guy for our team.

Hows your math man because that is exactly 50%. A starter should be significatly over 50% or else the team will have a losing record. Just to get into the playoffs a team usually needs 56% wins or better just to claim the 8th seed. If you starter is only getting 50% and your backup is worse, your not making the playoffs.

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#82 The Soup Fascist
July 06 2012, 11:13AM
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Giant Squid Overlord wrote:

Sure we definitely could have signed him for less, but for an organization that has developed him slowly, demonstrating confidence in a netminder while handing him the starting position is a good move.

Dubnyk was scholastic player of the year in junior if my Swiss cheese memory serves, and he has always come across as a grounded, level headed person who can handle the lofty expectations put on him today. Just like Krueger preaches, the organization is sending a clear message to DD. I'm excited and optimistic that he'll take this message, and prove his worth.

This also buys loyalty when the next contract(s) are negotiated. If he becomes elite, this gesture will not be forgotten by DD.

Finally, his numbers thus far may not compare to Rask or Schneider, but neither did the D and team before him.

Some good points. However, you are dreaming if you think there will be "credit" given for the next contract - assuming Dubnyk is in line for a bump.

Let's assume DD is the most loyal, stand up guy in the world. In two years he says "hey, you know what, even though I can take the highest offer out there, I a going to cut you, GM MacT and assistant GM Toby Pederson and deputy assistant Marty Reasoner , a deal and shave a million a year off my contract".

His lawyers, agents, parents and the NHLPA - not necessarily in that order - would have a schmidt fit.

No. This was the Oilers last chance to hold the cards and they showed their hand. This was not "showing commitment". It was just DUMB.

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#83 The Soup Fascist
July 06 2012, 11:21AM
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Although, in retrospect, if this means Dubey has enough money that he never EVER has to do another "work safe" / power company commercial (Hey, look at the new guy!) it is money well spent.

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#84 Bandwagon jumper
July 06 2012, 11:27AM
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Don't get me wrong, I like DD, but to pay him this kind of money is ridiculous. I'm afraid we'll look at this contract over the next two years with the same disdain as Horc's contract.

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#85 Copperblueandwhite
July 06 2012, 11:39AM
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Petry should get Dubnyk's agent...I like Dubs but this is a bit rich...wonder what they'd pay if he could handle the puck better....hey Robin, in your travails have you heard anything about the "Nuclear Option" for the Coyotes? Puck Daddy had this article today: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/nhl-nuclear-option-phoenix-coyotes-dispersal-draft-rather-164252710--nhl.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Seems the $200 million entrance fee is more attractive than the $60 million transfer fees!

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#86 Zamboni Driver
July 06 2012, 11:40AM
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Bandwagon jumper wrote:

Don't get me wrong, I like DD, but to pay him this kind of money is ridiculous. I'm afraid we'll look at this contract over the next two years with the same disdain as Horc's contract.

Also "Has-been-boozin'" (minus the hilarious length of contract).

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#87 Ronald
July 06 2012, 12:25PM
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So a goalie who has a simIlar save percentage as flurry, which if memory serves me right is the number one starter for Pittsburg, makes around the same as some of the starters out there and significantly less than some of the other ( I.E. Carey price anybody) and yet his contract is too much?? Give your heads a shake guys!! Is it a little more than you or I would have given him? Perhaps, but then again I wouldn't of given Smyth the ammount he was given due to the fact that he looked dead in the second half of the season. And talk into account that once Dubnyk was allowed to play with out having to worry about what would happen if he had a bad game ( even the best goalies have them occasionally) he proved that he could do what you ask a number one goalie, that being he made the saves he had to in order to give the team a chance to win. Just because the guy couldn't get the goal to pull out the win shouldn't reflect on DD. does dubbie. We'd more victories? Yes, but now that Edmonton has more offensive threats maybe the team will be able to score the needed next goal or win some of those games that are tied going into the third.

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#88 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
July 06 2012, 01:34PM
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I'm sure someone mentioned this already but khabi is due for a monster season. It's a contract year and in the past those have been his best. We might end up seeing a bit of a goalie controversy in 12-13.

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#89 nunyour
July 06 2012, 02:10PM
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put this contract on the bad management side,you never pay someone for something they might do,you pay they for what they have earned.

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#90 Word
July 06 2012, 03:12PM
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Wanye,

Can you guys build a poll database where people can ascribe their names to a position on controversial matters:

eg) Trade Gagner or Don't Trade Gagner

eg) Dubnyk 3.5/yr Good Deal or Bad Deal

eg) Hall vs. Seguin

eg) Yakupov vs. Murray

I would love to be able to force people to stand by their rants and own up to them later (even if later means 2 years later). Maybe we could use it to quiet down some of the donkeys that are always loud and always wrong.

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#91 Reg Dunlop
July 06 2012, 09:22PM
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@Word

Good idea but you forgot

eg)Tastes great vs Less filling

eg)Therapeutic massage vs Happy ending

eg)Death by overeating vs Death by 1000 cuts

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#92 pelhem grenville
July 07 2012, 06:28AM
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@Word who you callin' always loud & always wrong :)

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#93 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
July 07 2012, 10:44AM
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So, what's the cap hit if they buy Dubnyk out?

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