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Wild send Dumba back to junior

Jan 7, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

dumba2getty Getty Images

The Minnesota Wild have sent defenseman Matt Dumba back to junior for the rest of the season. The 19-year-old will play for the powerhouse Portland Winterhawks of the WHL.

“We’re excited to add a player of Mathew’s caliber to our roster as we enter the second half of the season,” said Winterhawks general manager and coach Mike Johnston. “He has proven to be an elite player at this level, and the experience he’s gained in the NHL and the World Junior Championship will be tremendously valuable for us.”

Drafted seventh overall in 2012, Dumba played 13 games for Minnesota in 2013-14, scoring a goal and an assist.

In hindsight, it would’ve been better for the Wild to send him down before he’d played 10 games and the first year of his entry-level contract had kicked in.

Related: Wild assign Dumba to Canadian junior team

  1. JoeAvg - Jan 7, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    Wow. Why keep him the extra few games if this was what they were gonna do? Not a smart management decision.

    • ibieiniid - Jan 7, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      was wondering the same. Injuries maybe? nothing against Jon Blum, but they were forced into calling him up for the same reason. maybe it was worth it to them.

      • ibieiniid - Jan 7, 2014 at 4:48 PM

        btw, haven’t followed the Wild blue line much this year. that was just my guess. correct me if i’m wrong.

    • joey4id - Jan 7, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      JoeAvg_2 here. idk, Seems like the Wild are struggling now and they can ill afford to have to have Dumba around to help him grow. They need to make the playoffs, and Dumba would not have made the difference. On the other hand, had the Wild already been in a strong playoff position, then maybe they would have kept him. He’ll get more playing/development time in juniors that he would have had with the Wild. BTW, his play in Sweden was far from stellar.

    • lordfletcher - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:24 PM

      there isn’t much left for Dumba to prove at the CHL level … that’s why he stayed around. Look at the Wilds roster, plenty of guys in that clubhouse can teach him how to become a pros pro on an every day basis. Realistically, the Wild felt he would learn more by practicing with the big club everyday and surround himself with NHLers than 15-18 year olds.

      I’m not saying this was the best decision by Wild brass,… just offering another viewpoint to those who are not as familiar with Wild / Dumba’s situation as others

    • cmmorgan32 - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:14 PM

      If you think about it, a lot has changed from when he was assigned to Team Canada to now (injuries, losing streak, etc.). If they could, I’m sure Minnesota would send Dumba to the AHL (but they can’t).

      For those of you calling this a “blunder,” I don’t see you complaining about Minnesota burning a year off of Zucker’s contract in 2012. Right now, Dumba is one of 4 possible RFA’s after 2016. If you want to talk “contract management,” I would rather only deal with the possibility of re-negotiating 6 contracts (including UFA’s) in 2016 as opposed to the possibility of re-negotiating 18 contracts at the conclusion of this season. At least Dumba will get to play in Portland rather than be a healthy scratch in Minnesota and (arguably) take up a roster spot that Minnesota could certainly use.

  2. lowenni - Jan 7, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Bit of a late decision, but understandable. He’s going to absolutely dominate junior offensively, and hopefully he’ll work on his defense and decision making, which is what kept him out of the Wild roster most of the time.

  3. matt14gg - Jan 7, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    It’s ridiculous they burned a year of his contract, but I really don’t care all that much, I’m mostly commenting because of how awesome that green Minnesota Wild jersey is. Best jersey in the league (besides my beloved Spoked B).

    • ray2013 - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      It is a pretty sweet jersey.

  4. ray2013 - Jan 7, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    From a player development standpoint it might be a good decision. But from a contract management standpoint, it’s absolutely terrible. Burning a year for those three extra games makes zero sense. They should have made the decision by game nine.

    • lordfletcher - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:30 PM

      it really won’t cost them much when you think about it, Dumba will only be playing two years before having to re-sign and I highly doubt he will dominate the league in those next two years costing the Wild a major $$$$ contract.

      An extra year of burned off his entry level deal more than anything will do nothing.

      • ray2013 - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:13 PM

        I have to respectfully disagree. Having watched the Oilers bungle draft picks for years, it’s always better to hold off as long as possible on the RFA and UFA contracts. They don’t negotiate RFAs on actual production, they are more on projected value down the road. Reading your assessment of Dumba, it’s clear you think he has value but not this season. Could the team not have reached this conclusion by game 9 and saved a year for negotiating his RFA? That’s the prudent course of action, so of course it is the opposite of what the Oilers have done.

  5. esracerx46 - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    IMO, a blunder like this is a fireable offense. Total bush league. Curious, do the Wild have to pay Dumba the money he would have made if he were able to play in the AHL? I mean, if the year is burned, where does the money go? Or it just goes away?

    • matt14gg - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:34 PM

      Agreed, you’d think Jay Feaster was the Wild GM. This is bad as the Ryan O’Reilly deal Feaster almost made, where he would have then lost O’Reilly on waivers. The thing about being an NHL GM today is that while it’s certainly about understanding the game and the players, it’s just as much if not more about understanding all the rules of the cap, the CBA, etc. There’s no way Minnesota can spin this as a positive. This is a screw up and there’s no way around it.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:09 PM

        As a Flames fan I have to say this is nowhere near as bad as the O’Reilly debacle, to have lost O’Reilly (while still having to pay his signing bonus) and then not having the 6th pick, would have really taken the knees out of the rebuild. Yes they would have still likely ended up with the other 2 first round picks but Monohan looks like the crown jewel of the rebuild, he will be the captain of the Flames in 5 years.

    • lordfletcher - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:57 PM

      IMO, a blunder like this is a fireable offense. Total bush league

      Do you really think they didn’t fully understand what they were doing? With the cap going up and with Dumba not looking like the prospect who will dominate the league soon, I can’t imagine his first contact post entry level deal will be a blockbuster… This cost the Wild nothing they weren’t prepared for.

      • esracerx46 - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:51 PM

        I vehemently disagree with everything you said. Not saying you’re wrong, just totally disagree.

        The salary cap and players contracts go hand in hand. The percentage of salary cap Dumba’s second contract is will remain the same regardless of what the cap is. What Minnesota did by playing him those 4 is lose a year of cost control. If Dumba’s second contract is a 2 mil cap hit, that’s roughly 1 million more than he would have made. 4 games could cost them at least a million.

        Everyone here knows that 10th game starts the ELC clock. A very basic plain as day rule. Who cares if he dominates in junior. Good. Play 9 games, get sent to junior. Dominate, and prove everyone wrong, then play 3 years and get a payday. Or…play 13 games, go back to junior, dominate and then play 2 years. 3 years of service behooves the team more than 2.

        Now in 178 games someone can sign him as an RFA rather than 246. Personally Id rather have 246.

  6. beermeone - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    The jersey is great. If it goes with a baseball team!

  7. joeyashwi - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Bad move. The Wild have no chance of making the playoffs this year so why not keep him? I’m a Wild fan but they have no goaltending (Harding is having issues with his MS), an inexperienced coach, no goal scorers, and are stuck in the powerful Western conference.
    Until the team learns how to shoot the puck instead of pass it around like a hot potato they will continue to be out of playoff contention.

  8. guitarmy204 - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    Dumba was awful in the World Juniors. No wonder they let Canada use him and are sending him back to the CHL.

    • joey4id - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:35 PM

      Terrible indeed. No way is he ready for pro. Build his confidence in CHL and hope for a good training camp next year with the wild.

  9. atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    So this burns a year off his contract but does he continue to get paid his NHL salary for the rest of the season because of it? That would make the 8 hour bus rides more bearable if he does!

    • joey4id - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:01 PM

      Right! Because he played more than 10 NHL games his SPC entry level contract cannot be extended under the entry level system. I could be wrong, but I don’t believe his paid his NHL salary, and the team cannot fill his spot with another player on the 50 man roster.

      (a) Not more than 50 Players signed to an SPC and not less than 24 Players and 3 goalkeepers under an SPC. Age 18 and age 19 Players who were returned to Juniors, and who have not played 11 NHL Games in one season, shall be exempt from inclusion in the 50 Player limit.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:11 PM

        That’s too bad for him but I guess he did stick around for 3 months to burn those 13 games so he did get about half a season worth of paycheques rather than just the 1 or 2 a junior player would normally get.

  10. blomfeld - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:54 PM


    Friends, with the lone exception of Joey, all of the comments above are likely the offerings of ‘those who are so’ … and while there’s no problem with that as God loves everyone including ‘those who are so’, the bottom line remains that we Kings are currently engaged with these ‘Wild’ people and the outcome has yet to be decided ? … so hopefully Captain Brown will perform a ‘reverse’ drop kick to the bald head of that freak Yeo and with any luck, Carter & friends will fill the Wild net with rubber !

    GO KINGS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  11. clarke16 - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:33 AM

    All I can say is–Thank God for Jason Pominville. Playoffs wouldn’t even be within the realm of discussion this season without him. The Wild need another player like him with a healthy Harding back to take the next step.

  12. lofty35 - Jan 9, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    They kept him up after nine games because Ballard was hurt. Scandella was struggling and so was Stoner. The D have been playing much better ever without him in the line up. Prosser has played well, he is the 7th D right now. Dumba, 8. Sucks they have to waste a year of his contract but they couldn’t send him down at the time.

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