Jeff Petry and Devan Dubnyk received two-year contracts yesterday moments before the NHL announced that Sam Gagner was one of 16 players who filed for arbitration. Much of the early reaction from fans and the media was that Petry was a great signing, while Dubnyk got overpaid. I agree Petry’s deal was good, but I’m not sold that Dubnyk was that bad of a contract.

Everyone likes to trot out comparables and that makes sense, but we can only use them as talking points, because no two situations are the same.

In the last month Dubnyk along with Tuukka Rask, Cory Schneider and Ondrej Pavelec have all received new deals.

Pavelec:     5 years at $3.9 million/season.
Schneider: 3 years at $4 million/season.
Dubnyk:      2 years at $3.5 million/season.
Rask:          1year at $3.5 million.

Instantly many suggested that Dubnyk wasn’t in the same category as Schneider and Rask due to their records, SV% and GAA. If you only look at their records you are correct in assuming they are better, but when you look a bit deeper I’m not sold that the Oilers grossly overpaid Dubnyk.

Let’s compare these four goalies over the past two seasons.

Goalie        GP           GA          SA          SV%       GAA         EV SV%
Pavelec     126         336        3,741      .910        2.83          .922
Dubnyk       82          211        2,483      .915        2.68           .924
Schneider  58          111        1,659       .933        2.09          .932
Rask           52          105       1,487       .929        2.20          .926

In the past two years Rask averaged 28.5 shots per game, Schneider 28.6, Pavelec 29.6 and Dubnyk 30.2. Of course shots on goal don’t accurately reflect quality scoring chances, but one could say without much argument that the Jets/Thrashers and Oilers likely gave up more quality chances than the Bruins and Canucks.

What I found interesting is that Dubnyk has essentially the same EV SV% as Rask. The difference in their SV% came mostly on the PK.

Last year the Oilers spent 505:12 on the PK, 5th most in the league. Boston spent 422:46 on the PK.

When you look at Rask and Dubnyk’s EV numbers I can see why Dubnyk received a similar contract.

Schneider had great numbers in Vancouver. Statistically he is the best of the four, and he has the biggest cap hit. However, last year he only started three or more consecutive games twice. No one knows how he will react when he has to start 50 or 55 games.

I think there was just as much of a risk in giving Schneider three years at $4 million as there was giving Dubnyk two years at $3.5 million. Both teams handed out the money hoping they will both be able to start 55-60 games.

If you take a quick look across the league you will see that if Dubnyk can maintain, or improve, his .915 SV% and start at least 50 games his contract won’t be that out of line.

Here are last year’s SV% leaders and their 2013 cap hit.

Player  GS SA  GA  GAA  Sv  Sv%  2013 cap hit
Mike Smith 67 2066 144 2.21 1922 0.930  $2 million
Henrik Lundqvist 62 1753 123 1.97 1630 0.930 $6.87
Jonathan Quick 69 1863 133 1.95 1730 0.929 $1.70
Jaroslav Halak 46 1211 90 1.97 1121 0.926 $3.75
Pekka Rinne 72 2153 166 2.39 1987 0.923 $7.00
Kari Lehtonen 59 1739 136 2.33 1603 0.922 $3.55
Miikka Kiprusoff 68 2040 162 2.35 1878 0.921 $5.83
Jimmy Howard 57 1496 119 2.13 1377 0.920 $2.25
Tim Thomas 55 1659 132 2.36 1527 0.920 $5.00
Roberto Luongo 54 1577 127 2.41 1450 0.919 $5.33
Niklas Backstrom 45 1299 105 2.43 1194 0.919 $6.00
Jose Theodore 51 1502 125 2.46 1377 0.917 $1.50
Tomas Vokoun 46 1299 108 2.51 1191 0.917 $2.00
Carey Price 65 1914 160 2.43 1754 0.916 $6.50
Ryan Miller 60 1788 150 2.55 1638 0.916 $6.25
Antti Niemi 68 1865 159 2.42 1706 0.915 $3.80
Cam Ward 68 2143 182 2.74 1961 0.915 $6.30
Craig Anderson 60 1917 165 2.84 1752 0.914 $3.18
Devan Dubnyk 42 1380 118 2.67 1262 0.914 $3.50
Evgeni Nabokov 41 1172 101 2.55 1071 0.914 $2.75
Marc-Andre Fleury 64 1768 153 2.36 1615 0.913 $5.00
Semyon Varlamov 52 1564 136 2.59 1428 0.913 $2.83
Jonas Hiller 73 2021 182 2.57 1839 0.910 $4.50
Nikolai Khabibulin 40 1114 100 2.65 1014 0.910 $3.75
Ilya Bryzgalov 57 1554 141 2.48 1413 0.909 $5.67
Martin Brodeur 59 1472 136 2.41 1336 0.908 $4.50
Ondrej Pavelec 67 2036 191 2.91 1845 0.906 $3.90
Corey Crawford 55 1507 146 2.72 1361 0.903 $2.67
Mathieu Garon 44 1191 118 2.85 1073 0.901 $1.30
Steve Mason 45 1355 143 3.39 1212 0.894 $2.90


Petry’s contract looks like a "great value" deal for the Oilers. Petry only has one full NHL season on his resume, but he really improved in the 2nd half of last season.

In the 43 games in 2012, Petry averaged 23:13 minutes. tallied 20 points and was a -5.

He was much more physical in the latter part of the season, and he found ways to use his excellent skating abilities to his advantage. Petry and Smid become a solid pairing, but Petry needs to shoot the puck more. He only had 111 shots and two goals. He has a decent shot and he needs to use it more effectively, but at $1.75 million he is a bargain.


Gagner is one of 15 players who could go to arbitration. David Perron filed, but he already signed a four-year extension with the Blues moments after filing.

The list doesn’t have any star players, but Gagner, Versteeg, Quincey and Oshie will likely garner the most money.

  • Nick Bonino, Anaheim Ducks
  • Jamie McGinn, Colorado Avalanche
  • Richard Bachman, Dallas Stars
  • Mark Fistric, Dallas Stars
  • Kyle Quincey, Detroit Red Wings
  • Sam Gagner, Edmonton Oilers
  • Kris Versteeg, Florida Panthers
  • Raphael Diax, Montreal Canadiens
  • Sergei Kostitsyn, Nashville Predators
  • Mark Fayne, New Jersey Devils
  • Anton Stralman, New York Rangers
  • Kaspars Daugavins, Ottawa Senators
  • T.J. Oshie, St. Louis Blues
  • T.J. Galiardi, San Jose Sharks
  • Dale Weise, Vancouver Canucks

Realistically only three or four players will go to arbitration, with the rest will likely coming to an agreement prior to their arbitration date. I suspect Gagner will recieve between $3.1-$3.5 million, but I’m more curious to see how long of a deal he receives.

Gagner is two years away from being unrestricted. He turns 23 in August and it is still a mystery as to what type of player he can be. Gagner has shown flashes that he could be a top-end #2 centre. He has excellent offensive instincts, he competes hard and he really wants to win and improve as a player.

Gagner has averaged 44 points over his five seasons, 49 if you prorate his seasons, and whether you want to admit it or not he is a bonafide 2nd line centre. Very few centres average 45 points a year in today’s game, and considering he’s only 22 you wonder if he’ll become a 50-55 point player or better over the next five years.

The real question isn’t how much Gagner will get from an arbitrator or the Oilers, but is he the longterm answer as a 2nd line centre in Edmonton. Of the Oilers skilled forwards only Taylor Hall is over six feet, and history shows you can’t win without some size in your top-six.

Gagner still wants to improve his footspeed, but I suspect he’ll need to become a better two-way centre if he wants to stay in Edmonton long term.

Signing Gagner to a three-year pact might be the best strategy for the Oilers. They lock him up three years, which is ample time to find out exactly what type of player he’ll be, and it also makes him more attractive on the trade market, if they choose to take that route.

I could see a three-year deal worth $9.6 million.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    @ DSF….But the opposition is not the same size.

    Statistics reveal 59% of the players in todays NHL game are a tad smaller/lighter than they were 25 yrs ago.

    [compiled by Dr.Jan Itor statistics Inc]

  • Personally, I think longer term would show more faith in Dubnyk then a large amount. If he gets better numbers in front of an NHL D-corps he will be demanding a nice raise in 2 years just when cap hi will start to be an issue. I would have offered him options. 2 years at 2 million a piece or 5 years at 3 million a piece.

    I think he is an underrated goalie. Our D was so bad the last feww years and his numbers are still up there with goalies playing on good defensive teams. I guarantee you can take any top goalie and put him on a lousy defensive 30th place team and his stats are going to take a beating.

    I would like them to offer a similar contract to Gagner. 2 years at 2.5 million or 5 years at 3.5 million. The only way I want him at 4+ is if it is 5 yrs. I would also be playing him between Hall and Yak. You put him between those 2 and I can guarantee his stats will improve and he too will be looking at a healthy raise in 2 years if that is the length they sign him for.

  • I believe the future has Hartikainen on the top line with Nuge and Ebs. Paajarvi with Hall and Yak. This is not likely this year and maybe not for a couple of years. If the goal is to convert Hall to center than do it this year. The signing of Smyth allows lots of flexibility on top three lines on left wing. The time frame would suggest only Gagner and a prospect,pick or so needs to go for D help. Inflate Hemsky’s numbers over next year and trade at deadline if that looks like way to go. There isn’t a big rush to do anything. If a dman can be had cheap thru trade or fa then do it.

    • DieHard

      I’m not picking on you. You may be right down the line with your thoughts … But … Everybody wants to get rid of Hemsky including you and I disagree. I think Hemsky (and Smid) love the city and want to play their entire career here. After this contract Hemsky will be, in essense, 31 and will probably take a “hometown” discount and play for a few more years AND win a cup.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    DSF, I would like to think you are just trolling and not as unhappy as you appear. Start small and see if you can smile once a week and then take it from there. As for the Oilers I love how they are handling things and soon I will wear the colours with 1980’s pride again.

    • Cheap Shot Charlie

      Boxman, the problem is that even if the Oilers put a string of 4 cups in 5 years together DSF would be upset that no one scored 215 points in a season or he would focus on the 15 games they lost and not the 67 games they won.

      Just like a cranky old neighbor, some guys can’t be made happy. I had to ask my dad if he was DSF because he’s the same way. You just have to learn to laugh at them but love them anyway.

      *big hug sent to DSF*

  • Quicksilver ballet


    Off topic but she’s right.

    “From the fall of 1949 to the fall of 1958 inclusive the Bears program again went into dormancy, as there was no competition in
    the West. The University gave the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football their jerseys, and the Eskimos adopted Green and
    Gold as their colours.”

  • RexLibris

    Gagner is a 5 yr veteran… with 40+ points in each year. Arbitration could get him something close to the $4.00 range. I guess its his choice to go through the procedure. Can’t really blame him as it seems every other day he is being traded for a D man.

  • RexLibris

    Hope Sam signs. Like Doobies signing. Gotta say more than ‘FIST’ next time. Oilers are getting set for next year. Schultz signing here brings credibility to Edmonton being desirable place to play.

  • RexLibris

    The two signings make sense to me when some other details are taken into account.

    Dubnyk’s dollar amount certainly makes sense when taken as an industry standard. Even more so when one considers that Dubnyk’s backup by season’s end is not going to be Khabibulin.

    As for Petry, this contract still leaves him as an RFA at the end of it. In which case a long-term contract now only buys RFA years, while a long-term contract two years from now, though more expensive, not only gives the team more time to hedge their bets on him as a player and means that the next contract buys the more productive UFA years.

  • DSF

    Why are there no posts about the ‘insane’ $9 million two year contract the NJD gave Brodeur, who compiled a .906 save percentage facing just under 25 shots per start while Dubnyk was at .914 while facing just under 33 per start, no doubt including far more quality chances?

    I also note Halak faced only 26.3 shots per start. Save percentage is not like batting average, where everybody faces the same pitchers, more or less, under the same basic circumstances.
    Save percentage is like Plus-minus. It tells you something of value but can be highly misleading. Someone who plays big minutes on a team with the worst even strength goal differential and ends up at -5 has likely done a Hell of a lot better than a big minute guy on the team with the best goal differential who ends up ONLY plus 5. And then there are the factors, like linemates and matchups.

    Using these stats to say, for example, that Dubnyk is the 18th best goaltender in the NHL is beyond idiotic. Of course it is impossible to say precisely how much better his numbers would be on a better defensive team but an analysis that factors in shots per game and quality scoring chances per game would tell us a lot more.

  • Jaggedstream

    For me, the dollar value is irrelevant as it’s not my money and it wont affect the teams ability to keep the young core together – we don’t have cap issues and the contracts wouldn’t keep the players from being traded if required. They are two young players that have all the arrows pointing in the right direction and two years keeps them hungry.

  • Would you trade Gagner, Hamsky and Paajarvi for Bobby Ryan?

    Results in us

    A) moving Horc to 2C
    B) maybe not getting another D man…

    Is this an over payment? Remember you need to give something to get something…

    • striker777

      Yes, it’s an overpayment. Ducks are looking for a 2nd line Center and Gagner would fit perfectly there. For some reason they want to unload Ryan, who’s a 30+ goals big winger.
      This could be a match made in heaven, since Oilers want to try Hall at center. Can you imagine Ryan-Hall-Eberle followed by Hemsky-Nuge-Yakupov

      I agree we would have to give up something on top of Gagner to get Bobby Ryan, but it would have to be something smaller, like next year’s 2nd rounder+Mark.

  • MessyEH!

    Your all under the impression that we were supposed to win. Poor misguided fans. The last two and a half seasons were a tank job. Restock the prospect cupboards.

  • MessyEH!

    We need a big line physical long term (3plus years)center this year if we intend on climbing in the standings . Our youth deserves that, or their could be trouble down the road signing these elite talents . Priority one . Second priority is defence . Hopefully first priority will be on board for start of season . Defence should be better than last year but still could use a top notch talent .

    Seguin , Evander Kane a possible target ? Nash and Getzlaf would be far more expensive i would think . For the price of the latter two , i’d prefer a stretch for Toews as unlikely it is we could pry him from the Hawks .

    Too bad Gagner was not so streaky , and slow starter each season . Kane(Chicago) worth persuing to help Gagner ?

  • MessyEH!

    dubbys contact is ok,term is great let him prove himself as there is not lots out there.bad goalie contracts?depietro,luongo,ask the flyers about bryzgalaaf!now we need tamblowe to get off his butt and make a trade or two,cause oil fans are not watching another last place finish,we just need to teach tamblowe that you do not start a trade by saying “we are pleased to select”,its probably making other gms hang up!!!!!!!!

  • Cheap Shot Charlie

    That’s a great point that they’ve missed the playoffs for, going on, 7 years. But I’m not talking about the Oilers. I’m talking about how we all need to show you love.
    Even cranky neighbors need to be cared for.

  • Cheap Shot Charlie

    REFLEXIONS ? DEJA-VUE ? Meeting the crossroads . Last time we made playoffs we did it with many players who wanted out after our big run . We did not recover . If we did it again , i believe we could recover with our tremendous youth this time . Longer term benefits than just a rental and perhaps time to trade that type before the exodus rather than get nothing for it . Perhaps maybe two players like that might be worth the risk-reward ? Opens up some new alternatives even though Tams seems committed to players on a longer term basis . It worked for us once , it may work again with less after effects this time .

  • paul wodehouse

    Cheap Shot Charlie

    You are definitely on the right track. Nobody knows what has turned DSF into such a negative Nancy but it is clear he needs to be surrounded by positive caring people to turn this around. *HUGS* for you DSF.

  • Dangerous Neil

    I don’t like the comments being edited by the moderators. If someone is posting inappropriate material, their comment should be removed and their account should be suspended. If the moderators feel that someone posted something that in their opinion is dumb or childish, they shouldn’t be editing posts. Online forums are never going to be a perfect science, but putting words in other peoples mouths isn’t right. If someone is only creative enough to come up with “Fist”, why not post a response to that comment Jason, rather than changing the original post?