Poor Jamie Langenbrunner. Not very long after he announced his retirement, the hockey world lit up with chatter about Devan Dubnyk getting traded from Edmonton to Nashville in exchange for Matt Hendricks. The Oilers were also retaining half of Dubynky's $3.5 million salary for bookkeeping purposes.
They did pick up Ben Scrivens from Los Angeles in exchange for a 3rd round pick, proving that GM Craig MacTavish isn't completely off his rocker. (There are still some questions about his sanity, though.) Still, from a Nashville perspective this trade is a win-win. Hendricks is no doubt one nicest guys in the league, and has character that can go on for days. However, the size of his contract didn't reflect his abilities on the ice, and it was one of the biggest head scratchers of the offseason. Of which there were many.
The goalie situation in Nashville has been contentious all season. With no timetable on Pekka Rinne returning from injury this season, (if he does at all) David Poile did what many thought he should have done earlier and got someone to be a stopgap until then, as well as unloading that awful contract. Dubnyk's career numbers aren't awful, and if he help the Predators win some games it will make Poile look great. If he doesn't, he's a UFA after this season so he's not on the hook for much.
Dirk already made his thoughts on the trade very clear:
Hendricks has boasted some of the worst possession metrics on the team, as his line (which usually features Paul Gaustad at center and a variety of guest stars on the other wing) has played Dump & Chase hockey primarily. Hendricks' lack of speed, however, usually left him a moment late on the forecheck, leaving him behind the play as opposing defenseman started a breakout the other way.
Dubnyk has been trying to earn a regular role in Edmonton for a few seasons now, but hasn't been able to seize the reins. His track record over the last few seasons has been pretty decent actually, giving us reason to believe that he's a qualified, competent NHL goaltender, something we can't really say yet about the duo of Carter Hutton and Marek Mazanec.
Jason Zito made his short and sweet:
I can't believe anyone would take any of our crowded field of 4th line guys. Stuff like this is why I'm kinda torn about firing Poile. Although he's the one who signed all these guys in the first place. So is this the end of Frosty Hutton with the Preds?
While George Scoville as always takes the calculated path, but still in line with most of OTF:
Hendricks was signed to be a "good in the room" kind of guy and to help with the shootout. The team shootout record speaks for itself, and there doesn't seem to be a correlation between wins and jokes involving the term "Wagon Line." Whatever Hendricks was signed to do didn't seem to be getting done. Dubnyk is no star, but continuing to crowd out ice time at forward in favor of a grinder with the worst fancy stats on the roster was a worse idea.
I have my own reservations about how Dubnyk will actually perform, but he will certainly be seeing better defense in front of him than in Edmonton. The fact is, he has more experience than Mazanec and Hutton combined, and its hard to find any negatives in this deal. Twitter seems to agree:
Oh god, Oilers.— Sean Gentille (@seangentille) January 15, 2014
The Edmonton Oilers are that kid in the school yard who'd give you his Kit Kat in exchange for your carrot sticks.— Laura/theactivestick (@theactivestick) January 15, 2014
The Dubnyk trade is pretty close to the kind of trade that any useful fantasy hockey commissioner would veto out of hand as being stupid.— Pension Plan Muppets (@mlse) January 15, 2014
Poile is a magician.— Justin Bradford (@justinbbradford) January 15, 2014
Too bad this #preds trade didn't happen in November.— Amanda DiPaolo (@ADPreds) January 15, 2014
Equipment manager: "Hey Devan, I’m here to collect your jersey." Dubnyk: "Too late, I just fired it onto the ice."— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) January 15, 2014
Dubnyk deal doesn't make sense because of Hendricks' contract. Scrivens deal makes sense only if Oilers re-sign him.— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) January 15, 2014
Trade winners... Dubnyk....Scrivens... And the 3rd rounder that goes to LA instead of Edmonton...— Matthew Barnaby (@MattBarnaby3636) January 15, 2014
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