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Oilers’ Dubnyk: “Not easy” for North American goalies to find work

Oct 11, 2012, 2:15 PM EDT

Devan Dubnyk Getty Images

Devan Dubnyk wants to play hockey, but his nationality is making it tough.

According to the Oilers netminder (and Canadian passport holder), the opportunities presented to European goalies during the lockout aren’t as flush for North Americans.

“I haven’t seen any North Americans,” Dubnyk told the Edmonton Journal about the list of goalies currently playing overseas. “I have a few options in Europe, but it’s not easy for a North American goalie to pick up and go over.

“It has to be the right situation.”

To date, almost all the jobs have gone to European-born netminders.

Pekka Rinne, Ilya Bryzgalov, Semyon Varlamov and Sergei Bobrovsky signed in the KHL; Tuukka Rask and Ondrej Pavelec joined the Czech Extraliga; Antti Niemi returned to his native Finland and Viktor Fasth, signed to be Jonas Hiller‘s backup in Anaheim, joined the Swedish second division.

(Note: LA Kings goalie and Quebec native Jonathan Bernier did buck the trend earlier today by signing in the German second division. Same with American/Isles goalie Rick DiPietro, who signed there yesterday.)

It’s a curious trend considering a large number of NHL skaters found no problem getting work, and even more curious given the slew of talented North American goalies currently out of work:

— Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury finished second in the NHL with 42 wins last season.

— Phoenix’s Mike Smith finished fourth in Vezina voting.

Cory Schneider finished third with a 1.96 GAA last year. Jimmy Howard finished sixth with a 2.13.

Carey Price was one of the six goalies named to the 2012 NHL All-Star game in Ottawa.

(List excludes LA’s Jonathan Quick, currently recovering from back surgery.)

The result is that goalies like Dubnyk are forced to practice, practice and practice again while the work stoppage drags on.

It’s a situation that’s beginning to take it’s toll.

“Look at the number of goalies still here (in North America),” he explained. “It’s not ideal for any of us.”

  1. flyersgoalscoredby88 - Oct 11, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Wouldn’t all of the Russian goalies be “Asian-born” goalies, not European? Just saying.

    Also, Dubnyk, it’s particularly difficult to get a job over there if you suck.

    • elvispocomo - Oct 11, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      That would depend on which side if the Ural Mountains they fall on. West of the Urals is Europe while East of them is Asia.


  2. freneticgarfieldfan - Oct 11, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    don’t forget Rick “currently on IR” diPietro…

  3. kicksave1980 - Oct 11, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    @flyersgoal…If they were born East of the Ural Mountains, than yes. Otherwise, European-born is correct

    • flyersgoalscoredby88 - Oct 11, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      Well yes, but the point is the same…

  4. lostpuppysyndrome - Oct 11, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Funny. If you guys would just get a deal done, you wouldn’t have to worry about not working right now. Sometimes I really do get the feeling that these guys have no idea what do do with themselves if they’re not playing hockey. At least college hockey players can maybe get some use out of that hotel management/forestry degree they worked so hard on.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Oct 11, 2012 at 2:52 PM

      *former college hockey players

  5. jersey77girl - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Who will be to be the first North American Player to bring the Gagarin Cup to visit the USA/Canada?

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