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Should a team roll the dice on Dubnyk?

May 26, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT

Devan Dubnyk AP

The NHL lists 51 goalies that played regular minutes during the 2013-14 season. On that rather lengthy list, Devan Dubnyk finished in a tie for last, with a save percentage of .891.

Suffice to say, it was not a good year for the tall 28-year-old, who started the season in Edmonton, where he struggled badly before being traded to Nashville in January, which was before he was dealt to Montreal in March.

A pending unrestricted free agent, Dubnyk is hoping his stretch of three good seasons with the Oilers — from 2010-11 to 2012-13, when he posted save percentages of .916. .914, and .920 — will convince at least one NHL team to give him a shot.

“I still feel I can be a good starting goaltender,” Dubnky told the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman. “I know it will be more difficult.

“To be out of the league [NHL] was tough to swallow … Even if I had to backup and play 20 games, I’d obviously do that than end up like this year, but I’m trying not to think about it — it makes me too anxious.

“I’ll see what comes on [July 1].”

Should a team roll the dice?

Tough call. Dubnyk fully admitted he “wasn’t good” in 2013-14.

But for the record, this is what the bottom 10 goalies in terms of save percentage looked like in 2011-12:


The following season, one of them was the starter for the Stanley Cup champs, and another was the Vezina Trophy winner.

  1. lowenni - May 26, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Ha…forgot about this guy. Which is also my answer to the question as to whether or not a team should roll the dice on him. Forgetful performances, seasons, and player. Give him a year in the AHL and then try again.

    • ballistictrajectory - May 26, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      He’s had time in the AHL… I recall a game in Providence, one of the regular Springfield 7-2 blowouts, when Zach Hamil skated up to him at the end of the 2nd period and told him he couldn’t stop a beach ball. He blew a gasket and got 5 for fighting.

      “Dubious Dubnyk” was earned that day.

      • lowenni - May 26, 2014 at 4:02 PM

        Ah, forgot about Zach Hamill as well. Tracked him a bit while he was playing for the Hershey Bears (my Caps’ affiliate) and boy, he’s a bust if there ever was one.

        And yes, I agree Dubnyk has had time in the AHL but not too much. I meant a full season (hopefully) as a starter.

  2. shaundre93 - May 26, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    Bruins could probably use a dirt cheap backup considering their cap situation… If they can make Chad Johnson look good I bet they could help this kid regain his form. He has decent skill, and size obviously, I think he just needs some confidence

    • matt14gg - May 27, 2014 at 7:18 AM

      Dubnyk is terrible and Svedberg will be the Bruins backup next season anyway.

  3. govtminion - May 26, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    He was awful this season, but to play devil’s advocate he DID have a defense in front of him that… wasn’t much of a defense at all. Andrew Ference and.. blank. So he got worked like a rented mule. But… he also wasn’t stopping shots that a lot of guys in other cities WERE stopping despite facing similar numbers of shots. So… I’ll be interested to see if anyone does give him a shot at a backup gig, to see how he does, but I’m not expecting to see him start at the NHL level again.

  4. Jackson Scofield - May 26, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    Don’t forget that Emery was solid all season as Crawford’s backup too. 17-1-0 in 21 games for the Hawks in 2012-13.

    • 19to77 - May 26, 2014 at 6:05 PM

      And Mason went from the punchline of the goaltending world to a legit quality netminder for the Flyers last season too, while Reimer rebounded to post a .924 and lead the Leafs into the playoffs for the first time in eight years. Goalies are nothing if not unpredictable. Since he’s happy to play backup just to get back to the NHL, I figure someone will offer him a cheap one-year deal and probably be better off for it. Like Brough said, he posted a .920 as the starter in EDMONTON just last year. The guy’s clearly got at least some talent to work with.

  5. rtookey - May 26, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    He’s good for AT LEAST one stupidly easy goal from the slot, every game. Watched him for his entire time in Edmonton, and that is by far the worst thing about him. Very frustrating to watch.

  6. spizzjr - May 26, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    I’m sure Garth snow will kick the tires on a cheap one year deal to back up Jaro

  7. matt14gg - May 27, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    The curse of the tall goalie has never been more evident than with Devan Dubnyk…that five hole is like a ten hole. Ben Bishop is about the only guy who has had significant success as a tall goalie recently and even he has had his struggles and never really pulled it together until this year. Dubnyk is NOT an NHL caliber goalie, not even a backup.

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