Two-piece combinations in net are the new trend in the NHL, and the San Jose Sharks are getting with the times.
The Minnesota Wild will trade starting goaltender Devan Dubnyk to the Sharks, who plan to feature a $10-million-plus platoon system (at least in real dollars) next season along with incumbent Martin Jones.
The #mnwild has acquired a fifth-round selection in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft from the @SanJoseSharks in exchange for goaltender Devan Dubnyk and the #mnwild seventh-round selection in the 2022 #NHLDraft.— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) October 5, 2020
🗞 » https://t.co/CUW6EVAXhj pic.twitter.com/RZ4pjp6oCr
Dubnyk and Jones have each earned All-Star nods in the not-so-distant past, but neither have performed particularly well over the last few years. Jones has been a wreck over the last two regular seasons, posting an .896 save percentage in each, while Dubnyk is coming off is worst statistical season since 2013-14 when he traded and demoted twice.
Each goaltender has had moments of brilliance in the league, and perhaps the internal competition helps them — or at least one — rediscover their plus form, which would obviously help the Sharks improve on their worst season in decades.
As for Minnesota, the decision to move on from Dubnyk is somewhat strange given that the return was merely a fifth-round draft selection and that they are actually retaining salary on the deal. The Wild are in a transitional period, having moved on from captain Mikko Koivu while also publicly dangling Matt Dumba on the open market, so it’s possible that GM Bill Guerin is just moving on from the relationship with Dubnyk one year in advance of free agency.
However, there is some logic behind the Wild making a move for their next long-term starter now, and with free agency just a few days away. There are plenty of capable netminders for hire on the open market, and Robin Lehner set the bar pretty low with his five-year extension with the Vegas Golden Knights.
Alex Stalock is the only NHL-ready netminder under contract with the Wild at this moment.
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