It's been clear to most that the Edmonton Oilers weren't that high on Devan Dubynk, even before this season began. It got even clearer when they signed Ilya Bryzgalov to share the crease with him.
And it's even clearer now, as the Oilers have agreed to send Dubnyk to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Matt Hendricks.
Again, that's Matt Hendricks, the 32-year old center with 2 goals and 4 points this season. Matt Hendricks, who, 44 games into a four-year deal that pays him $1.85 million per season, was deemed expendable by the team that gave it to him.
Also the Oilers will be paying half of Dubnyk's salary for the rest of the year, at which point he'll be a UFA.
How Edmonton, who needs, well, everything, has managed to turn a starting netminder on an expiring contract into three years paying nearly $2 million for a replacement-level player is... I don't even know what it is. Not sensible, that's for sure. Granted, Dubnyk hasn't been good this year, but who in Edmonton has? Has he ever had a chance to play in front of an NHL-calibre defense?
He'll get the chance now in Nashville.
Speaking of the Predators, this is a great deal for them. While they wait for Pekka Rinne to return from his infection, they get an underrated net minder, made to look worse than he is by the grease fire in front of him.
It frees them from having to rely on the duo of Carter Hutton and Marek Mazanec, who are skilled, but raw, and in over their heads a little. If Rinne returns this season, Dubnyk can be a quality backup so he can ease his way back into regular duty. And if not, Dubnyk can shoulder the load the rest of the way.
Plus they got him for next to nothing -- maybe less, than since they're paying him half his salary and they cleared about $7 million of regrettable contract from the books in the process.
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- Matt Hendricks