As expected, the Oilers shipped out goalie Devan Dubnyk. This season has not been his best, but Dubnyk did show a vast improvement from the start of the year. He’s an average to good NHL goalie that had to face a ton of shots playing behind a weak defensive team. A lot of the goals he allowed were magnified nightly mainly because the team did not have enough talent to get one back.
I’ve been a fan of his mainly because of the issues he had to deal with developing in the Oilers system. Keep in mind, when Dubnyk completed his junior career, the Oilers did not even have their own farm team. He was stuck scraping minutes on another club’s farm team, which is challenging as other goalies had higher priority for ice time.
Goaltending is one of those positions that I don’t value as highly as others. In my opinion, you need average goaltending behind a solid system and tactics to have success in the league. Goalies are just too difficult to predict. Far too often you hear stories about goalies almost coming out of nowhere to lead their team to success. An example would be Martin Jones in LA or Viktor Fasth in Anaheim. Both were relative unknowns who have put up some decent numbers playing on well structured teams.
Having said all that, I can appreciate MacTavish making a move that he thinks is best for the team. What I don’t understand is the return he got for Dubnyk. I think a couple other posts put it best: From The Copper and Blue:
Hendricks signed a four-year deal with the Predators as a free agent in July of last year; a deal that comes with an annual cap hit of $1.85M. Oh and he’s 32. In 44 games this season he’s scored two goals and added two assists. His 0.09 points/game this season is well of the areer best of 0.32 that he posted in 2010/11, but if you look at the years in between is probably the type of production that should be expected during his time with the Oilers. The fancy stats don’t put him in a much better light either. His Corsi% this season is 42.3%, lowest among Predators forwards. He has had tough zone starts though, second toughest on the team, but even when you account for that the results are not very good. All signs point to a players who belongs, more often than not, on the fourth line.
It seems to me that there was an obvious alternative: send Dubnyk to Oklahoma City. Sure, it stinks for Dubnyk’s career given that he’s probably looking to drag his save percentage above .900 before he becomes a free agent but then Dubnyk’s career is not the Oilers’ problem. If faced with a choice between what’s best for Dubnyk’s career and what’s best for the Oilers, the decision is simple: do what’s best for the Oilers. The Oilers went another way. At the end of the year he goes. The Oilers get nothing in return but then nothing trumps negative something. There are Hendricks’ available for very little every summer who don’t need four year deals at $1.85MM. The Oilers just ate a ton of risk that Hendricks won’t be able to play in the NHL in a year or two for no apparent reason.
Considering the Oilers used a first round pick to select him and that they spent so much time developing him into a legitimate NHL goalie, it’s hard to understand what problem MacTavish was trying to solve with this trade.
I find it interesting that MacTavish picked up Ben Scrivens, another goalie who spent time in the LA Kings goalie development system. MacTavish had high praise for Jonathan Quick recently and also pursued Jonathan Bernier in the offseason. Should also note that former Oilers goalie Billy Ranford is one of the goalie coaches in Los Angeles.
It’s getting quite tiresome to constantly hear the Oilers pursuing Alberta born players. Before acquiring Scrivens, who just happens to be from Spruce Grove, Cam Ward, a Sherwood Park resident playing in Carolina, was confirmed to be of interest to the Oilers,