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Devan Dubnyk's New Contract And Comparables

I believe they're beginning to get the big picture. Screenshot courtesy Oilers.NHL.com

I’ve been imploring this club to give the reins of the starting goaltending position to Devan Dubnyk for some time now.  With Dubnyk’s new two year $7M contract, it appears that day might have come.  (Do not look at the $3.75M backup during this exercise, it will serve you no purpose).

Assuming Dubnyk’s near 450% raise will get him the lion’s share of the starts, what can we expect?  What are his comparables?

Let’s take a look at some numbers, quick and dirty.

Looking at Devan Dubnyk’s NHL statistics page from 2011-12, we can point out a few obvious stats.  Dubnyk finished with a record of 20-20-3.  His save percentage clocked in at .914, his GAA finished at 2.67, and he had a pair of shutouts to go with those numbers.

Who are Dubnyk’s comparables?  Bonus:  these charts get BIG when you click them.

Screenshot courtesy NHL.com Click to enlarge.

Dubnyk’s best time on ice 2011-12 comparable was Nicklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild.  Backstrom’s 2012-13 cap hit?  $6M.  Urp.  Backstrom finished with similar numbers to Dubnyk with a little more than one game’s less time on ice.  Backstrom had a .919 SV% versus Dubnyk’s .914.  Backstrom had two more shutouts, and a .25 less GAA.  Dubnyk had one more win.  Putting Dubnyk next to a six million dollar deal makes $3.5M look awfully good.

How about wins?

Backstrom is again a comparable, but so is Evgeni Nabokov of the Islanders.  Dubnyk started in 42 of his 47 GP last year, while Nabokov started 41 of 42.  Both Nabokov and Dubnyk have identical save percentages and shutouts, while Dubnyk has about 275 more minutes on the ice.  Backstrom’s cap hit next year is 6M, while Nabakov’s cap hit in 2012-13 is 2.75M.  I like Dubnyk’s hit over both these guys.

Finally, how about saves?

This one’s good for a few laughs.  The highlighted column is actual saves.  Two columns to the left is shots.  Devan Dubnyk played in ten fewer games than Detroit’s Jimmy Howard (’12-’13 cap: 2.25M), yet Howard faced only 92 more shots.  Chicago’s Corey Crawford (’12-’13 cap: 2.667M) also played in ten more games than Dubnyk, with a shot differential of just 127.    Notice Steve Mason (’12-’13 cap: 2.9M) had exactly 50 less saves than Dubnyk and 25 fewer shots.  It’s well recorded that Mason didn’t have a great season for various reasons (seriously, equipment issues?)

Dubnyk is 26, and he’s starting the contract that will likely define the rest of his career.  I don’t think anyone thought Dubnyk would be earning north of $3M in the next couple of years (myself included), but it doesn’t look at all outrageous when stuck next to his counterparts.

What does Dubnyk need to do in order for him to ‘earn’ this contract?

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Tags: Devan Dubnyk Goaltending

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