The Edmonton Oilers signed Devan Dubnyk last night, 2-year deal at $800,000 per season. There’s already a variety of reaction (notably here, here and here) out there, with some interesting interpretation.
Tyler suggests “it’s another nail in JDD’s coffin” while Scott Reynolds says “and thus the Oilers will have Jeff Deslauriers signed, sealed and delivered to Oklahoma City, so long as Khabibulin is ready to start the year. That is unless the Oilers go to the arbitrator suggesting a salary they can walk away from if it’s awarded.”
Michael Speidel says “the main problem here is you’ve created a favorable comparable in arbitration for Deslauriers. If I’m JDD’s agent, I don’t think I need to work very hard to show that (a) Edmonton thinks Deslauriers is better, since they gave him the majority of starts last year after Khabibulin went down and (b) Deslauriers had a better performance last season than Dubnyk, by whatever measure you want to use (Wins, starts, SV%, SO) in the best environment possible for a direct comparison – the same team.”
I think all of that is true, and that the Oilers probably signed Dubnyk to a 2-year deal at decent dollars so that they have the option of sending him down should Renney prefer JDD. A team taking on Dubnyk will have that second season to deal with, and that may be enough to scare off interest. After all, there are other more experienced and established options available to NHL teams.
The fact that the Oilers are not pursuing those veteran, free agent options is a “tell” in regard to how serious the club is about 10-11. They’re working on a building, and believe Dubnyk or Deslauriers could be their “goalie of the future.” So far, I don’t see any reason to believe they’ve settled on Dubnyk as the answer. If they had, why not unload JDD before the arbitration process?
No. I suspect we’ll see all three goalies in camp (unless the Russian can’t make it) and anoter “saw him good” moment will win the day.