Many Oilers fans are calling for Devon Dubnyk to be sent down to the minors or traded off for empty water bottles. Does Dubnyk deserve better? Is the end near for Devon Dubnyk as a Oiler or even an NHLer?
The Edmonton Oilers have had many disappointments when it comes to players in the last ten years or so, Rob Schremp being one such disappointment. Most of the problems can be directed to poor management decisions. Deciding to play young kids in the NHL instead of playing them in the minors to develop their talents and strength seems to have slowly killed any depth we have in the system and has caused a few NHL careers to be disappointments. In the case of Devon Dubnyk their seems to be a different issue.
I defended Dubnyk last month with a blog called ‘The Curious Case of Devon Dubnyk” and I have decided to take my licks and tell everyone that I was wrong. The case of Devon Dubnyk was not curious at all but rather, right there in black and white staring me in the face. He is an average NHL goalie that would be an okay back up in the NHL or maybe because he stands at six and a half feet tall he would be a good back up at a bar fight.
I know Dubnyk has struggled mightily this year but in the 2004 entry draft he was the second goalie selected, 14th overall in the draft. The Oilers must of seen something in him to pass up on players like Travis Zajac, Wojtek Wolski, Andrej Meszaros, Cory Schneider and Mike Green who were all drafted after Dubnyk in the first round, right? Well since drafted in 2004 the 6′ 6″ 210lb Dubnyk has posted only one winning season in any league and I hate to say it but Corey Schneider has posted only three losing seasons in his entire junior and NHL career. Maybe Dubnyk is not to blame but rather the Oilers brass is to blame for even drafting him so high. That is another topic for another day.
Last year all signs pointed to the fact that he would succeed in the NHL when he posted a .920 SV% and a 2.57 GAA and a losing record of 14-16-6 in the shortened season. So what did the Oilers do? Everyone’s favorite Kevin made room for his buddy Craig Mactavish with visions of sharing another sip out of Lord Stanleys Cup with him. Instead of focusing on the fact that this team, our team had no number one D-man and had planned to ride a losing goalie all the way to the promised land.
Low and behold Dubnyk has fallen flat on his face this year. Now 9-13-2 with a GAA of 3.36 and a SV% of .890. Great numbers if you have the Oilers team from the 80’s playing in front of you. Just ask Grant Fuhr who finished his Hall of Fame career with a 3.38 GAA and a save percentage in the high .800’s but managed to have a 403 -295-114 record . Dubby has not been able to make a key save when the Oilers need it. He has not been able to stop pucks that most of the goalies in the NHL, including backups, would make on a routine basis. Plain and simple Devon Dubnyk should be done as an Oiler and will be a back up elsewhere in the NHL next year if he is lucky.
I think he has as many games as Ilya Bryzgalov is injured to turn it around and regain his and his teammates confidence. Once ‘The Universe’ is back he will get a majority of the starts and Richard Bachman has played well enough to back up any goalie that the Oilers decide to sign in the off season. Don’t be surprised to see Bryzgalov signed to a long term deal if he performs well the rest of the season.