The Edmonton Oilers traded goaltender Devan Dubnyk to Nashville this afternoon, in exchange for forward Matt Hendricks. The deal went down just after noon (or was announced at that time) and gives the Oilers more size up front, and a player who has had some success in the faceoff circle. It isn’t completely clear where they’ll play Hendricks, but 4th line C would seem to be the obvious spot on the roster.
This is a pretty good player for the role he’ll play on the Oilers (tough customer who hits people, can play the game and pitch in a few goals here and there over the season). The issues for Edmonton are:
- length of contract (it’s three more years after this one at $1.85M a season)
- amount of cap hit ($1.85M is dear for a 4th line player, even with the new cap)
- he is not being used for faceoffs in Nashville
- there is no place for Anton Lander on next year’s roster
The positives are:
- this player will probably center Luke Gazdic/Ryan Jones/Ryan Smyth on a fairly veteran 4th line
- he was used in a penalty killing role in Washington and in Nashville
- he did take faceoffs (successfully) in Washington
- the Oilers were not tied to Anton Lander for next year’s roster
I’ll do a sail on later, but for now I sincerely wish the big man all the best in his new town. On the human side, I can relate to no sleep with newborns, and can understand new equipment restrictions and stick-shortening being forced upon might create some issues. On the hockey side, his Oiler career blew up in a two-week period at the beginning of the season, and since then this day has been coming.
ASSESSING THE TRADE
Hendricks is a player we’ve discussed before, he brings clarity to the roster (Lander is probably gone, either back to Europe or to another team) and adds a physical element many felt the team needed, but he does not add that element on the skill lines.
That’s Hendricks player card from Extra Skater, and would fit in with Mike Brown or Luke Gazdic’s. The fact that he can play center and penalty kill gives him extra value, should the Oilers choose to use him at center.
Dubnyk went off the rails this fall. Stuff happens in life, it just does. I can’t explain it, and would sound ridiculous trying. MacTavish sent Devan Dubnyk to heaven for goalies in Nashville. If the Preds’ goalie whisperers can fix him, well they’ve made an outstanding trade. If not, they have all kinds of options available in their system and an injured goalie coming back sometime (we assume).
They did offload a contract very much like Ladislav Smid’s: too rich for the role assigned, but a team willing to take on the dollars and term.
Matt Hendricks is the first added piece for 2014-15 since the Christmas break, and he brings clarity to situations for both Devan Dubnyk and Anton Lander. Next year’s team becomes a little clearer.