Chicago extends Crawford - what does it mean for Dubnyk?

Jonathan Willis
September 02 2013 09:11AM

The Chicago Blackhawks extended goaltender Corey Crawford on Saturday, inking the starter from last season's Stanley Cup-winning team to a six-year, $6.0 million per season contract. 

That's a lot of money

There's no question about it - the Blackhawks paid full price for Crawford, a player who generally isn't seen as a top-tier NHL starter. In 2011-12, the duo of Crawford and Ray Emery struggled mightily in the Chicago net, and were seen as a critical weakness in an otherwise excellent team. Last year, Crawford turned that around and delivered strong results over a lockout-shortened season and then en route to a Stanley Cup win.

Could this decision have anything to do with the Blackhawks choice to let Antti Niemi walk away after the team won the Stanley Cup in 2010? At the time, the consensus seemed to be that Niemi had put in an averagish season and won the Cup behind a powerhouse, but since then Niemi has evolved into an exceptional goalie. 

Even so, it's hard not to be a little staggered by the dollars and term here. Crawford has a career 0.913 save percentage, with the vast majority of those games coming in the last three seasons, and that total ranks 28th of the 54 active goalies to record at least 1,000 saves over that span. Even eliminating the backups ahead of him (players like Jhonas Enroth and Jason LaBarbera), Crawford's save percentage puts him in the bottom-third of NHL starters.

What About Devan?

It's a deal that must have pending unrestricted free agent Devan Dubnyk smiling, because there are definite similarities between Dubnyk and Crawford.

Both are on roughly the same career track. Dubnyk was selected in the first round of the 2004 Draft and Crawford went in the second round in 2003. After minor-league apprenticeships that included a smattering of NHL games (19 for Dubnyk in 2009-10, eight for Crawford over three seasons) both surpassed veteran incumbents to take the starting job in 2010-11. Both now find themselves hovering around the 150-game mark on their careers after three seasons with some ups and downs.

What about the performance gap? Both are career 0.913 save percentage goalies, and over the last three seasons (when both have been starters) there isn't that much space between them. Dubnyk has a 0.917 save percentage over that span to Crawford's 0.913, and at even-strength Dubnyk has a 0.923 save percentage to Crawford's 0.922. The four point even-strength save percentage gap over that span is the difference between a middle-third and bottom-third starter, but given that we're talking about four goals over 1,000 shots its only fair to recognize that the gap isn't all that large.

But then, Crawford isn't being paid like a guy who has been a bottom-third NHL starter over the last three seasons. He now ranks seventh among goalies in cap hit - he's being paid because he's a Stanley Cup-winning goalie. Maybe that's a bad way to decide to pay goalies (I think it is) but it is what is happening and it isn't something that Dubnyk can claim.

Even so, it does seem clear that the brief era of goalies being seen as a place to save money against the cap is now over, and that's unfortunate for the Oilers given their need to sign either Dubnyk or a new starter next summer.

Nuts!

Completely off-topic is this message from the Canadian Cancer Society. This September, they're spreading awareness of testicular cancer through "Nutiquette" and naturally we thought we'd help them with that. Watch the movie, it's funny.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

 

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#1 The Soup Fascist
September 02 2013, 09:47AM
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Geez, I thought Crawford's save percentage was like in the low .820 range.

Yours truly, Sam G.

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#3 The Soup Fascist
September 02 2013, 09:23AM
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This is a contract the Hawks could regret. Crawford is the current day Chris Osgood. Good goalie on a great team that wins a Cup. GOOD goalies should not make $ 6 million a year - not even sure GREAT goalies should get high dollar long term contract like this given their often rapid decline back to mediocrity.

Don't think it is much of a concern that this signing will drive up Dubey's potential upcoming contract, unless the Oilers win the Stanley Cup this spring.

No worries here.

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#4 Jay
September 02 2013, 02:06PM
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I'll cut off my left nut with a rusty knife if dubnyk gets close to 6 mill a year

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#7 Wäx Män Riley
September 02 2013, 01:57PM
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Spydyr wrote:

No goalie is going to win the Cup with the Oilers current roster. Not sure that even has to be stated, but you asked.

Now if and when the time does come to compete for the Cup here is a list of goalies I would prefer over Dubnyk:

Jonathan Quick, Pekka Rinne , Tuukka Rask , Craig Anderson , Antti Niemi.

You and 25 other teams

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#8 Naky
September 02 2013, 12:49PM
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I absolutely love the 'fans' in this town when it comes to goalies. It really shows how clueless most of them are. Just reading the comments in this article alone, it's absolutely astonishing how many people actually and honestly expect Dubnyk to single-handedly take this team to the playoffs.

Defense? What's that? It's not necessary! So what if we had the worst defense corps in the entire league for the past few years, Dubnyk should have just been that much better and stopped all the pucks! Let's just ignore all those prime time scoring chances one after the other because our rookie forwards can't back check to save their lives and our defensemen were AHL caliber.

Offense? What's that? Last year our star filled top 6 forwards had a hell of a time scoring consistently on a nightly basis. Nah, it's Dubnyk's fault for letting in that extra goal or two on all those 3-1 games, and you know, if he had just kept the score to 0, all those games we had last year where we didn't score a single goal, well, maybe we could have won in the shootout, right? Yeah, we'll go with that!

Yeah, I just don't know about that Dubnyk guy man. Letting in soft goals all the time, not giving our forwards enough time to score even one goal in 65 minutes of play so they can score in the shootout. We have it really rough here, let's chase him out of town and sign a goalie who has slightly better numbers on a much better defensive team so we can start this process all over again! Gimme a bro-fist!

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#9 Cutterov
September 02 2013, 09:47AM
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If Dubnyk gets 6 mil we are hooped its that simple... He has won nothing in his career, not started 1 playoff game... Was inconsistent and prone to the soft goals last year... There are much better options

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#10 gongshow
September 02 2013, 09:37AM
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Did Stan Bowman just lose his mind? Will an outlier contract like this one in to play in Dubnyk's case? As ppinted out, it would seem obvious that the Cup trumped the stats in these negotiations.

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#12 The Soup Fascist
September 02 2013, 03:07PM
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madjam wrote:

Lets be serious here . Would any club beyond the Oilers pay as much as we are paying for Dubbie now -I doubt it .

Yes. Plenty.

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#13 Ca$h-Money!
September 02 2013, 03:00PM
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The thing I don't understand is, how was Crawford any better than Emery this year? What more could Emery have done to earn the starting spot?

Emery went 17 - 1 with a sub 2 GAA and .922 save percentage... and he's still not considered a sure thing starter, but the other guy is worth locking up at 6 million per year for 6 years....

I just don't understand how the hockey braintrust makes decisions sometimes. Either both goalies are elite, or both goalies are OK but played for a great team...

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#15 @Oilanderp
September 02 2013, 11:32AM
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This is a cruel cruel idea but a dark part of me would see Crawford injured forcing Khabibulin to take over as the Hawks' starter. Now that would be some entertaining hockey!

EDIT: It would be ok I am sure since Khabby has a ring!

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#16 Woodguy
September 02 2013, 09:33AM
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Here's the EVEN STRENGTH SV% for every goalie in the NHL who has played at least 3000min from 10/11 - 12/13

Even strength SV% has proven to be a superior way to measure goalies than straight SV% as the short handed SV% for most goalies fluctuate wildly from year to year and are not repeatable (subject to a lot of luck)

Here they are:

THOMAS, TIM 93.77

LUNDQVIST, HENRIK 93.21

SCHNEIDER, CORY 93.17

LUONGO, ROBERTO 93.02

NIEMI, ANTTI 93.01

RINNE, PEKKA 93.01

RASK, TUUKKA 92.98

BOBROVSKY, SERGEI 92.9

SMITH, MIKE 92.79

BACKSTROM, NIKLAS 92.73

HOWARD, JIMMY 92.63

LEHTONEN, KARI 92.62

REIMER, JAMES 92.62

VOKOUN, TOMAS 92.6

MILLER, RYAN 92.58

QUICK, JONATHAN 92.51

PRICE, CAREY 92.51

HALAK, JAROSLAV 92.5

WARD, CAM 92.5

HILLER, JONAS 92.44

ANDERSON, CRAIG 92.44

CRAWFORD, COREY 92.37

DUBNYK, DEVAN 92.36

VARLAMOV, SEMYON 92.33

BRYZGALOV, ILYA 92.32

FLEURY, MARC-ANDRE 92.22

THEODORE, JOSE 92.22

PAVELEC, ONDREJ 92.13

KIPRUSOFF, MIIKKA 91.82

GIGUERE, JEAN-SEBASTIEN 91.78

ELLIOTT, BRIAN 91.78

NEUVIRTH, MICHAL 91.74

BUDAJ, PETER 91.7

NABOKOV, EVGENI 91.69

HEDBERG, JOHAN 91.58

CLEMMENSEN, SCOTT 91.39

ROLOSON, DWAYNE 91.33

BRODEUR, MARTIN 91.26

GARON, MATHIEU 91.18

MASON, STEVE 91.17

KHABIBULIN, NIKOLAI 91.12

GUSTAVSSON, JONAS 90.5

Craword is 22nd (DD is 23rd)

Also, no wonder MacT went hard after Schneider, he's up in heady company for sure.

Looks like based on today's cap that CHI overpaid.

Most long term contracts today are betting (correctly imo) on a $90MM cap in 5 years.

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#17 speeds
September 02 2013, 10:14AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

That's a good point, though in practice if a team needs a goalie an agent can probably wait and demand market price.

If there's only 1 G available and 1 team needs a goalie, maybe.

CHI was not, IMO a team that needed to make that kind of deal because a team as good as them should be able to find a goalie looking to parachute into a great situation for "below market rate".

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#18 Oiler Al
September 02 2013, 11:36AM
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It's fair to mention that when Crawford looks up he sees "Keith" and "Seabrook" on jersey in front of him., not to mention that the Hawks playe lights out on both sides of the puck.

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#19 pkam
September 02 2013, 01:36PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Mac-T has gone after just about every goalie available this summer. Those actions suggest he does not see Dubnyk as a championship caliber goalie. Neither do I.

No one is saying Dubnyk has to single handily get the team into the playoffs .

What some of us want is a goalie to win the Cup.

So which goalie in the league right now do you think can win the Cup with the roster we have last year, or even the roster this year?

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#20 OilClog
September 02 2013, 10:00AM
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It means absolutely nothing for Dubnyk, yea lets compare a goalie winning cups with a goalie on a team that forgot what playoffs are. If Dubnyk at this point and time thinks his contract situation just improved.. He's out to lunch, like this whole damn write up

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#21 Spydyr
September 02 2013, 10:23AM
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As soon as wins Dubnyk the Cup you can start comparing him to Crawford .Cup winning goalies make more and they deserve more. They actually , you know, won something.

To compare a goalie that has never got his team into the playoffs with a Cup winning goalie is not a fair comparison. One is a proven winner one has never even made the playoffs.

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#22 pkam
September 02 2013, 11:18AM
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Spydyr wrote:

As soon as wins Dubnyk the Cup you can start comparing him to Crawford .Cup winning goalies make more and they deserve more. They actually , you know, won something.

To compare a goalie that has never got his team into the playoffs with a Cup winning goalie is not a fair comparison. One is a proven winner one has never even made the playoffs.

So you believe Crawford could have lead our team to playoff?

I wouldn't, but I would believe the Hawks would make the playoff even with Dubnyk in net, probably win the cup too.

I am pretty sure if Crawford plays for the Oilers, you will trash him like you do to Dubnyk.

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#23 madjam
September 02 2013, 02:08PM
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Lets be serious here . Would any club beyond the Oilers pay as much as we are paying for Dubbie now -I doubt it .

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#24 speeds
September 02 2013, 09:38AM
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Goaltending is a position where, IMO, teams would be well advised to ignore the perceived "market price" - there is no easily identifiable "market price" because the number of teams that need a #1G and the number of #1G's available bounces around each year.

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#25 oilerjed
September 02 2013, 09:53AM
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Any contract over 4 years for any NHL goalie should be seen as a gigantic risk. Injuries and a change for the worst in performance is almost guaranteed for about 80% of goalies over a 5 year span. Broduer is about to retire and there are not many guys like him that can keep it up at that level for as long as he has. I really like Dubs as a goalie, Although this year will be the year that breaks the back either way. Im excited to see how he can do but not matter what, tying up anything more then 3.5-4 for three years is way out of line. I feel like if we start to show more progress this year that the young guys are not going to price themselves off of the team when it comes to negotiations. That article the other day about Hall and Ebs contracts, was a good one. It did set the bar in terms of what the Oil will pay and can be prorated for each player accordingly. It gives the younger guys a focal point (be it high for some and low for others, Yak/RNH maybe)to get a fair contract and stay with the team or take it on the road somewhere else and hope for more cash. IMO the locker room is shaping up in a way that most of these guys will want to remain and take a discount (At least on this contract) to keep it together and see where it goes. Hopefully MacT can stay the course and prove to be a strong player manager.

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#26 Woodguy
September 02 2013, 11:32AM
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Spydyr wrote:

As soon as wins Dubnyk the Cup you can start comparing him to Crawford .Cup winning goalies make more and they deserve more. They actually , you know, won something.

To compare a goalie that has never got his team into the playoffs with a Cup winning goalie is not a fair comparison. One is a proven winner one has never even made the playoffs.

So a player who wins the Cup is superior to a player who doesn't?

By this logic you must think that Willy Lindstrom is better than Marcel Dionne.

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#27 Geoff
September 02 2013, 11:53AM
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I don't think under ANY circumstances that dubnyk should be paid more then the wonder kiddies.

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#28 pkam
September 02 2013, 03:26PM
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madjam wrote:

Lets be serious here . Would any club beyond the Oilers pay as much as we are paying for Dubbie now -I doubt it .

Winnipeg Jets singed Ondrej Pavelec to 4 years at 3.9M per last off season, if you know who Ondrej Pavelec is.

And Colorado trade their 1st round pick to Washington for Semyon Varlamov 2 years ago and then signed him to 3 years at 2.833M per when Varlamov was only 23 years old. His contract is up by the end of the upcoming season and you will see how much he will get. I believe will be at least 4M.

And Dubnyk's number is better than both of them.

And FYI, when Dubnyk signed his previous contract when he was 23, he only got paid 800K. This 3.5M is his last RFA contract, like Ondrej Pavelec.

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#29 oilbaron
September 02 2013, 03:43PM
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I believe you stated the most obvious thing, he's a Stanley cup winning goalie and dubey isn't. Period, end of story. now bring on the start of training camp so I don't have to read these asinine articles anymore.

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#30 J-Dogg
September 02 2013, 03:58PM
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Spydyr wrote:

No goalie is going to win the Cup with the Oilers current roster. Not sure that even has to be stated, but you asked.

Now if and when the time does come to compete for the Cup here is a list of goalies I would prefer over Dubnyk:

Jonathan Quick, Pekka Rinne , Tuukka Rask , Craig Anderson , Antti Niemi.

The fact that your list of preferences is comprised of 5 elite caliber goalies underscores what most people here seem to be saying, which is that Dubnyk is far from our biggest weakness and by the time our forwards have matured a bit and our defense is in a state to allow us to "compete for the cup" on an annual basis, Dubnyk will be a perfectly adequate goalie.

That said, I don't think he's worth 6 million per year.

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IF he winds up with equal or slightly better #s, Doobie should get a 3yr/$10M deal.

IF Doobie "stones" the opponents on a regular basis and knocks it outta the park, re-up him for 6yr/$33M.

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#32 Spydyr
September 02 2013, 11:05AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Yeah. Because Devan Dubnyk wouldn't have made the playoffs in Chicago and Corey Crawford would have won the Stanley Cup in Edmonton. Obviously.

It's this kind of reasoning that had people posting pictures of Nikolai Khabibulin carrying the Cup in 2004 when it was pointed out that the Oilers had given him a bad contract.

The best players make their teammates better.

So if one salesman sells the most gadgets one year and breaks sales record they are a huge success he should be paid the same as the salesman that has not had the same success. I don't think so.

Winners get paid more than losers.

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#33 thebiggestmanintheworld
September 02 2013, 11:10AM
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@The Soup Fascist

-The current day Chris Osgood?-

I don't know why, but this drives me nuts.

Chris Osgood is top ten ALL TIME in wins, for both regular season AND playoffs.

If he gets docked for playing on the Red Wings, do Brodeur and Roy get docked for playing with All Star teams too?

Those Dallas teams with Belfour were pretty stacked. Does he get docked too?

I hate the Red Wings too, but give a guy a little credit.

Plus, Crawford is the new J.S. Gigure...

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#34 WhattaMike
September 02 2013, 02:39PM
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Dubnyk is up for a contract next yr no matter what happens with the Oilers this year. My preference is that he improves more so and significantly than the past season. I like this young man and goalie....but he is not/nor will not command anythingover $4.5 mil per yr max in the next contract...with the Oil or any other team.

Crawford got absolutely very lucky to get a six yr $6 mil per yr contract...and he did not deserve this cause he is not elite. He won games and the Cup because of his team primarily and mainly...not from of himself.

IMO, Dubnyk has to win quite a bit more reg season games and get into the playoffs and... win in the playoffs as well...albeit as the top player on the team over-all...so as just to get a very good contract starting next yr....(and surely at no more than $4.5 mil per yr still).

IMO, If he ever realisticaly expects more than this per yr (such as Crawford) then he better win the Vezina, the Cup and Conn Smythe too.

If not realistic for himself or the Oilers...then trade him I say.

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#35 madjam
September 02 2013, 10:56PM
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Katzhater wrote:

Grant fuhr is a perfect example of a goaltender with a superior team in front of him. Clearly a passenger. Jim matheson could have played in net for the oilers and they still would have won.

Fuhr one of the best reflex goalies of all time . Followed some of his stellar performances from Tier 2 on up . Incredible reflexes , and many incredible games over the course of his Oiler career . He was no passenger , but often the difference maker as our defenceman were adequate at best most of the time .

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#36 The Soup Fascist
September 02 2013, 11:30AM
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thebiggestmanintheworld wrote:

-The current day Chris Osgood?-

I don't know why, but this drives me nuts.

Chris Osgood is top ten ALL TIME in wins, for both regular season AND playoffs.

If he gets docked for playing on the Red Wings, do Brodeur and Roy get docked for playing with All Star teams too?

Those Dallas teams with Belfour were pretty stacked. Does he get docked too?

I hate the Red Wings too, but give a guy a little credit.

Plus, Crawford is the new J.S. Gigure...

Not trying to dis the guy, but the prevalent belief was he was an adequate goaltender on an excellent team. If you think he was in the same league as Brodeur and Roy, you are entitled to that belief as I am not the guy who has the same inclination or ability as others to present stats to refute that assertion.

But I did see both Roy with the Canadiens and Brodeur with the Devils win cups on their backs with inferior teams. I cannot say that with Osgood. Was he a better person than either of these other guys - likely safe to say yes. Was he in the same league as a goaltender - I don't believe so.

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#37 pkam
September 02 2013, 11:32AM
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Spydyr wrote:

The best players make their teammates better.

So if one salesman sells the most gadgets one year and breaks sales record they are a huge success he should be paid the same as the salesman that has not had the same success. I don't think so.

Winners get paid more than losers.

According to your logic, MAF, Holtby, Nabakov, and Reimer are better goalie than Bobrovsky, Miller, Rinne, and Mike Smith.

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#39 @Oilanderp
September 02 2013, 12:22PM
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@WhattaMike

Why draft a goalie when some other team already did it 4 years ago and is willing to part with them due to their needs?

In any case, what I would really like to see is the Oil become a team so good that we don't NEED Dubnyk to steal games in order to win. If all we can do to win games is hope our G stands on his head every night, then we are truly missing the mark on how to build a winner.

Dubnyk is fine. Let's put a winner in front of him. We can start with d-men that stay in front of the net, continue with forwards who play 200ft and know when to just make the simple play instead of a deke to get through the neutral zone.

This is precisely the meaning of the oft-quoted, "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win." - Sun Tzu

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#40 Freewheeling Freddie
September 02 2013, 01:29PM
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If Lowe has his way he will sign Doobie to a seven year 49 million dollar contract. Be afraid very afraid.

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#41 DSF
September 02 2013, 06:26PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Dubynk will be one of the prized UFa's next summer and will likely bail on the Oilers unless they overpay him to extend before July.

No he won't.

Teams don't overpay for below average goaltenders.

Which teams will be looking for goaltenders next offseason?

The list isn't very long.

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#42 Time Travelling Sean
September 02 2013, 09:21PM
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DSF wrote:

No he won't.

Teams don't overpay for below average goaltenders.

Which teams will be looking for goaltenders next offseason?

The list isn't very long.

All his stats suggest he's above average, and why did Chicago just massively overpay for their average to below-average goalie?

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#43 Wäx Män Riley
September 02 2013, 09:27PM
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DSF wrote:

No he won't.

Teams don't overpay for below average goaltenders.

Which teams will be looking for goaltenders next offseason?

The list isn't very long.

I thought all of his numbers show an above average goalie. Especially considering the defence in front of him.

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#44 WhattaMike
September 02 2013, 11:36AM
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IMO, even if the Oilers got to the playoffs this coming year, there is no way I (as armchair GM) would pay Dubnyk $6 mil as like Crawford.

Dubnyk is a very good guy and goalie but has not shown full consistency nor brilliance as of yet in his career. Those type goalies who have done this in the past and have also won cups are names such as Brodeur, Roy, Belfour, then go back further to guys like Dryden, Parent, Fuhr, Billy Smith, etc...

Dubnyk is improving and has more potential but he nor Crawford are in the type class of the names I just mentioned above.

If Dubnyk consistently wins more games to get the team to the playoffs this year and can show that he can play excellent enough in the hopefully upcoming 1st round of the playoffs...then I would still only offer him another 3 year contract at say...between $4 mil/$4.5 mil to maybe $5 mil per year.

BTW, the Oilers definitely have to draft a top prospect goalie in the 2014 draft plus a couple excellent type centres....

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#46 thebiggestmanintheworld
September 02 2013, 11:54AM
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@The Soup Fascist

I wouldn't put him the same class as Brodeur and Roy. Those two are in a class by themselves anyway.

I watched enough Red Wings playoff hockey to believe Osgood was a better than average playoff performer.

He played in the era of Brodeur, Roy, Hasek, Belfour, and Joseph and still managed to get his name on the Cup as a starter, twice.

For an adequate goalie, that's pretty impressive....

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#47 WhattaMike
September 02 2013, 12:31PM
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@Oilanderp....

I definitely agree with you on that there are other goalies out there without having to draft prospects ....and that it would be great to not have to rely on Dubnyk to always steal games for the Oilers.

I do like Dubnyk as a goalie ans hope he does keep improving to become elite...while with the Oilers. However, I still say that Dubnyk nor Crawford are worth $6 mil a year. I also have to say that an elite goalie will always steal wins for the team on a consistent basis.

Anyways, the 1st Oilers preseason game starts in what...11 days?...finally!!!!! Go Oilers!!!!

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#48 David S
September 02 2013, 12:10PM
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The problem here (and once again) is that you're trying to evaluate athlete worth purely on tangibles (stats) while not considering the equally important intangibles.

The question at hand is: "Save percentages being equal, what is the value of a goalie that inspires team confidence."

Crawford may not be all-world, but maybe he makes the saves when they matter the most, inspiring his team in the process. Dubnyk on the other hand has catastrophic lapses. If you watch sports in HD, you can often notice the players grimace after he let's in another "Dubnyk Softie™".

Maybe MacT still has to "ask the question" because he has some serious reservations about Dubnyk's ability to stop 'em when it really counts.

So the answer to my question above seems to be: "Anywhere between $2-$3 million a year and +2-3 years in term."

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#49 Spydyr
September 02 2013, 12:15PM
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Woodguy wrote:

So a player who wins the Cup is superior to a player who doesn't?

By this logic you must think that Willy Lindstrom is better than Marcel Dionne.

No, not once did I say Crawford was a better goalie then Dubnyk. What I said was comparing Crawford's salary to Dubnyk's salary was not a fair comparison.

Every team that wins the Cup has a tough time keeping the team together because the players demand more money. After all, they helped their team to the championship. Sather knew about this in the glory days and made several references to it.

Dubnyk has not won a thing , nothing zilch, he does not deserve to be paid as much as the Cup winning goalie.To compare salary between goalies with the same stats one goalie having won the Cup to one that has never made the playoffs is not a fair comparison.

Winning is what matters,no?

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#50 David S
September 02 2013, 12:28PM
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WhattaMike wrote:

@JW....

I agree with you there would be a 4 to 5 year gap but I, among many fans, fully recognize the depth in the system is not strong enough showing right now with Olivier-Roy, Bunz, and Tuohimaa.

Another thing too to remember (although more rare now) is that there are kids who started in the NHL long before the now statute type five yr period of grooming...such as Fuhr, Moog, Roy, Brodeur, etc. Three of these names alone are/will be in the HOF as well.

Its an important position the Oilers should keep building up equally just as much as defence and forwards. The defnece now looks awesome for the future thus far, the forwards position needs tweaking still but the bottom six looks okay for the future (Joensuu, Hamilton, Moroz, Kessy, Khaira, Chase, Ewanyk, etc) as the top 6 already does

Its just that I do not believe that Crawford or Dubnyk are worth $6 mil a yr. Chicago apparently wants to be stupid in this case. look at what happened to that team before when they signed "Huet" to a wrong huge contract. He never really ever played good or much longer in the league as I remember.

Look even at Ryan Miller...awesome goalie...he is paid about $6 mil a yr...and but...he never has won the cup. Now he is fully hurting the cap space for Buffalo right now and is aged....

Mark my opinion please....Crawford will not win another cup as a top elite goalie. it will be never agfain while he plays or that the Hawks win because of the other players in front of him.

IMO, If any NHL team wants to pay elite type salary to a player...even it's #1 goalie ...then make damn sure that player is elite and proven enough to be paid that type money.

If any of our development goalies showed anything near "Fuhr, Moog, Roy, Brodeur" in ability, they'd already be playing on the big team. Fact is, they're just not that good.

Obviously the Barons need some keepers to play the game. But if you really need an NHL caliber goalie these days (phenoms notwithstanding), you're better off acquiring them through trades. Most times the 4-5 year investment doesn't pay off. Why build what you can buy?

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