The Sharks will be Devan Dubnyk’s sixth NHL stop. But the term "journeyman" is misleading.
“I’ve played in the league for 10 years and all these teams,” Dubnyk said to NBC Sports California. “But nine of the 10 years have been on two teams.”
The goalie debuted in 2009 with the Edmonton Oilers, and enjoyed relative stability until a career whirlwind struck in 2014. Trades took Dubnyk to the Nashville Predator, the Montreal Canadiens, the minor leagues, Arizona Coyotes and eventually to the Minnesota Wild.
All within a span of 364 days.
It was with the Wild in 2015 where Dubnyk quickly settled and succeeded again. That season he became an All-Star, winner of the Masterton Trophy and a Vezina finalist.
“This feels like a similar situation. After a difficult season last year for many different reasons, I feel that same positive energy,” Dubnyk explained about coming to San Jose.
Part of the comfort factor for Dubnyk is first-year Sharks goalie coach Evgeni Nabokov. He and Dubnyk met through a mutual friend three years ago, and have remained close ever since.
There also is a tandem to be formed alongside Martin Jones, with both netminders on the search for a certain redemption.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for him,” Dubnyk said of Jones. “He’s a fantastic goalie. Statistic-wise maybe the last couple years haven’t been great, but I’m the last person that's going to look at that and judge somebody.
"I think we can do great things together.”
There of course will be external attention on the amount of playing time and opportunities divided between the two backstops. But internally, Dubnyk only is employing the most veteran approach.
“One thing I’ve always said about having a goalie partner is that you can’t compete against them, you have to compete with them,” Dubnyk explained.
“There’s only one other guy in the dressing room that knows what it’s like to play goal in the NHL, and that’s your goalie partner. You have to be together.”