Dubnyk is coming off a disastrous year where he posted just an .890 save percentage over 30 games. It was San Jose’s second trade of the day with the Minnesota Wild, after acquiring forward Ryan Donato for a third-round pick, which you can read about here.
Despite Dubnyk’s performance this season, I think this is a great deal. A key is that the Wild retained half of Dubnyk’s salary, meaning only $2.17 million will be counted against the cap for the Sharks. One of the biggest issues when I heard about acquiring Dubnyk was the fact that he carried an AAV of $4.33 million, however, there’s actually a lot to like about this deal when you factor in the retained salary.
Prior to the 2019-20 season, Dubnyk was one of the best goalies in the league over the last half-decade. Excluding this past season, he had a .920 save percentage in 298 games since joining the Wild in 2015. He also did this while playing at least 65 games in three of four years between 2015-16 and 2018-19.
I don’t expect Dubnyk to bounce back to a .920 save percentage but I think there’s at least a reasonable chance we see him around the .910 mark, which would still be a massive boost for the Sharks. He’s able to play a high number of games and could certainly take over the starter’s role from Martin Jones with a strong start to the year. With that considered, it’s pretty impressive that the Sharks were able to get Dubnyk, with retained salary nonetheless, in exchange for simply swapping a fifth-round pick for a seventh-round pick.
The biggest thing here is that if Dubnyk struggles, no worries, it’s just a one-year deal. However, even at 34 years old, he may have some gas left in the tank. The Sharks are now able to avoid giving up better assets in a trade or overpaying for a goalie in free agency. I think this is another big win for Doug Wilson and the Sharks that carries no risk but has the potential for a decent reward.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):