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2010 NHL Free Agency: Oilers set to sign underwhelming, oversized G Devan Dubnyk


Of all the teams that I listed in an experimental post about Marty Turco’s possible suitors, the Edmonton Oilers were one of the most logical squads for the puck moving goalie. Part of the reasoning was because Nikolai Khabibulin struggled so much on and off the ice during the 2009-10 season, but another reason was that the team hadn’t signed a backup yet.

The team minimized those chances, as TSN reports that the team is on the verge of signing backup goalie Devan Dubnyk to a two-year, one-way contract worth $800K per season.

Dubnyk hasn’t really delivered much on either the pro (4-10-2 record with a 3.57 GAA and 88.9 save percentage in 19 games played) or minor levels. The team invested a lot in him, though, making him the 14th pick of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

(Gary Joyce wrote a great piece for ESPN The Magazine [subscription required] detailing the fact that - despite never seeing any real results - Dubnyk was part of a trend that saw NHL teams drafting goalies strictly for size. At 6'5", the large goalie can take up a lot of the net ... even though he seems to be at the wrong place at the wrong time more than his smaller, more agile counterparts.)

Dubynk is a classic case of a team feeling the need to justify a high draft pick with a risky signing. Still, I think he can justify his existence if some headline writer uses his last name to write a pun-based “Dubynk gets the dubya” type headline.

Overall it’s a minor but weak signing by the Oilers, especially at a considerable price when you take his lackluster results into account. Then again, I guess this is one of those “potential versus production” debates, being that the team could argue that he still has time to improve at 24.