In a move to help shore up Nashville's goaltending challenges this season, the Predators have traded forward Matt Hendricks to the Edmonton Oilers for Devan Dubnyk. The details first came out via the Oilers' Twitter feed:
#26 / Right Wing / Nashville Predators
Jun 17, 1981
|2013 - Matt Hendricks||44||2||2||4||-5||54||0||0||0||53||3.8|
On the first day of free agency last summer, David Poile signed Hendricks to a 4-year contract averaging $1.85 million per season, a hefty sum for a dedicated 4th line player.
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.
I'll be honest, as far as the forward ranks are concerned this is addition by substraction for the Preds.
Moving forward, might this open up a spot for a young forward from Milwaukee, like Filip Forsberg, Taylor Beck or Austin Watson? Stay tuned...
#40 / Goalie / Edmonton Oilers
May 04, 1986
|2013 - Devan Dubnyk||32||1678||11||17||2||94||3.36||885||791||.894||2|
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.
According to NHL Numbers, Dubnyk makes $3.75 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. But wait, there's more!
Official-- #Preds acquire G Devan Dubnyk from Oliers for Matt Hendricks. Oilers will pick up half of Dubnyk's salary— Willy Daunic (@WillyD1025) January 15, 2014
Getting Edmonton to retain half of Dubnyk's salary makes this deal even better for the Preds.
Will this move salvage Nashville's season? That would be a huge stretch, but this is a very, Very, VERY positive deal for both this season (improved goaltending) and beyond (dumping the Hendricks contract).
To me, this is indeed one step towards the change in direction I called for weeks ago. Keep it up, Mr. Poile.
UPDATE: For reaction in Edmonton to this deal, check out Copper & Blue.
- Wednesday's Dump & Chase: The Preds Won!
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- Predators/Flames: 3 Questions with Matchsticks & Gasoline
- Tuesday's Dump & Chase: Truculence Comes to Town
- Counterpoint: Supply Glut, STH Bonuses to Blame for Secondary Market Prices; Questions Remain