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Why Devan Dubnyk Should Progress In 2013

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We’ve finally got a CBA that’s ratified, and we’ve got a MOU that’s ratified, and it appears that everybody on the NHL and NHLPA will pretend to like each other enough to play hockey for at least eight years without putting everybody through another lockout.

So, let’s talk about some hockey.

Let’s talk about Devan Dubnyk, and why he’s going to have a good 2013.

Devan Dubnyk was awarded a two year deal valued at 7M total at the end of last season.  I was really happy that Dubnyk got an extension.  He played pretty well in 2012, and I expected him to get a raise over his base salary of 800K.

I didn’t think it would be an over 400% raise from his base salary. Those are some big shoes to fill.

Then again, Khabibulin is on the last year of his 4 year/15M deal, and if he could fill in for about 8 wins (his average during his deal with Edmonton), I’d be pretty happy.

Things are looking up for Devan Dubnyk.

Why is Dubnyk due for a good year?   A couple of reasons.

  • Dubnyk is the first Oiler goaltender to post a 20 win season in three years.  You know who was the last Oiler goaltender to post 20 wins?  It was Dwayne Roloson, and the ’08-’09 season wasn’t nearly the tsunami that the past three years have been.  The Oilers signed Nikolai Khabibulin when Roloson went to Long Island, and we all know how that turned out.  Dubnyk finished last year at 20-20-3 and a .914 SV%.  That’s pretty damn good for a team that had 32 wins in the entire season and missed the playoffs by 21 points.
  • The Oilers are a little bit better on defence this year.  And, they should get a little bit better as training camp goes on, because they should think about finding another capable defenceman.  The Oilers signed Justin Schultz to a two year deal this past offseason, and Schultz performed very, very well in the AHL during the lockout.  Of course, the transition to the NHL is a pretty big step, and there’ll be a learning curve.   If the Oilers acquire a mid-pair defenceman between now and the beginning of the season, Dubnyk will fare even better.
  • Dubnyk is cruising into prime real estate as far as his career is concerned.   At 26, he’s got two solid years under his belt, and should continue to progress as he gets more work.  Khabibulin is 40, and with the exception of a hot October 2011, he’s struggled to maintain a level of consistency since coming to Edmonton.  Yann Danis is 31, had a spectacular 2011-12 with Oklahoma City, but has played in one NHL game since the conclusion of 2009-10.

He’s got the contract, he’s got a couple of satisfactory years of experience on a couple of bad Oiler squads.  And, if the Oilers add another body to the defence, it’s only going to help Dubnyk’s numbers improve.

It’s Dubnyk’s time to shine, and 2013 should be a year where he takes the next step.

What are your expectations for Devan Dubnyk in 2013?

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