Wild Ink Dubnyk to a Six-Year Extension
In the midst of all of the trades and draft picks that came fast and furious at the final day of the NHL Entry Draft, a report has surfaced that the Minnesota Wild and Devan Dubnyk are close to finalizing an extension.
Chuck Fletcher confirms @TSNBobMcKenzie report that deal with Devan Dubnyk is all but done.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 27, 2015
UPDATE: The deal has now been made official, for six years at $26 million.
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) June 27, 2015
After having a frankly awful 2013-14 campaign that saw him sent from the Edmonton Oilers to the Nashville Predators to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Dubnyk has revitalized his career. Beginning with the Arizona Coyotes and continuing with the Wild after his midseason trade there, Dubnyk has reworked and refined his game.
This has included adopting a new method of puck tracking known as Head Trajectory, developed by Lyle Mast of OR (Optimum Reaction) Sports, as well as working with Sean Burke to refine his depth and efficiency during his time in Arizona.
The work paid off. In his time in Minnesota, Dubnyk posted a .936 save percentage and a 1.78 goals against average. In 231 career NHL games, he has a .908 and a 2.52. Dubnyk was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy for the league’s best netminder for the 2014-15 season and the winner of the Masterton Award for perserverance and dedication to hockey.
This is a bit of a risk for the Minnesota Wild, who are essentially betting that these technical improvements have fundamentally improved Dubnyk’s game and that he hasn’t simply had a good stretch. Goaltending performance is notoriously variable over single seasons and it remains to be seen whether the changes Dubnyk has instituted can overcome the decline that a 29-year-old goaltender can expect to see as he ages.