OVER (PAY) TO YOU, DEVAN

Robin Brownlee
July 05 2012 07:44PM

With the two-year deal the Edmonton Oilers just gave him, Devan Dubnyk could walk away from hockey in the summer of 2014 and never play another NHL game and he'd have more money in his jeans than you or I will make in a lifetime.

Having bumped Dubnyk's salary from $800,000 a season to $3.5 million a year through 2013-14, that's not the plan, of course. Money talks, and the Oilers have given a clear indication they don’t expect the six-foot-five puck stopper to be going anywhere anytime soon. That will play out in the next 24 months.

Simply put, the contract tendered Dubnyk is extremely generous, and then some. Plain and simple, it's an overpay to a restricted free agent who has yet to establish himself as a bonafide No. 1 goaltender. I'm not saying Dubnyk can’t or won't do so, because the former Kamloops Blazers is clearly a better option than the fading Nikolai Khabibulin. I'm simply saying he hasn’t done it yet.

Whether the contract is a touch rich or not, the price point GM Steve Tambellini and the front office pegged Dubnyk at sends a message to him and the team in front of him – the Oilers are confident he can and will be the go-to guy in the blue paint moving forward.

That vote of confidence hasn't been lost on the 26-year-old Dubnyk, who went 20-23-3 with a 2.67 goals-against average and a .914 saves percentage in 47 games (42 starts) last season. In 101 NHL games with the Oilers, Dubnyk is 36-43-13 with a 2.85 GAA and .910 saves percentage.

READY TO GO

"It's a huge boost of confidence," said Dubnyk, who has gone from making really good money and being single to making really great money and being married in the last couple of weeks. "It's very important to get that faith and that backing from the team. They certainly showed that. It's just exciting going forward."

My first inclination is that faith in Dubnyk is well-founded and that the message sent is justified. That guarantees nothing, of course, but I don't see the commitment by the Oilers as a shot in the dark, even if it's $1 million or so more a season than I'd have put on the table. It's not my money.

Given the statement the contract makes, Dubnyk will be the clear-cut No. 1 guy ahead of Khabibulin and that will likely translate to 55-60 games this coming season playing behind a team that should be markedly better than he's stood in for since breaking into the line-up in 2009-10.

Dubnyk has the ball, and the money, now. I'd be willing to bet he runs with it rather than walking anywhere two years from now. My guess is Dubnyk will turn into that bonafide No. 1 stopper. How will he stack up in the big NHL picture? I don't know. That, as is always the case, is up to him.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

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A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#2 book¡e
July 05 2012, 09:07PM
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I do like how people rant about it without giving comparable, available alternatives, etc.

I like it because ranting is so easy.

As far as I am concerned all these people know nothing and DD's contract fits right in with the league norm these days for his current record, particularly considering he play in the second half of the year behind an AHL calibre defense.

(note - that's my ill informed rant btw - if you don't like it, find the facts to disprove it).

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#3 jeanshorts
July 06 2012, 12:30AM
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I mean, it's not like they paid 4 million per to a guy who's only played 66 career games while actively trying to ship out arguably one of the top 10 goalies in the league or anything.

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#4 JailbirdJoe
July 05 2012, 07:55PM
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When I first heard he was getting 3.5M, I thought it was 3.5 TOTAL for two years...which made a lot more sense to me

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#5 ralph_u
July 05 2012, 09:47PM
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Sure it is an overpay but to say he hasn't shown he can be a number 1 newsflash he is the Starter here and has been the better goalie for 2 years now. It is a two year deal so doesn't bother me but I guess we will see by Feb 2013.

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#6 Pouzar99
July 05 2012, 10:43PM
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Contracts are negotiated based on comparables. Maybe Duby's agent says Schneider, drafted the same year, but later than Duby, has also just won the starter's job and he is getting $4 million. Oil management responds that Schneider had a better year and showed well in the playoffs, even though Nucks went down, etc, etc. In the end they agree Rask in Boston, who will take over for Tim Thomas, is the best comparable overall, at $3.5 mill, roughly similar numbers and experience, accomplished about the same. Smith comparisons aren't even raised because he will soar past when his next contract comes up just as Quick has leaped to $5.8 million.

If you review this on Gap Geek, you will see this is a reasonable contract, at the absolute most a tad generous. If you haven't looked at Cap Geek you are talking out your ass. If you offer $2.5 million he will take you to arbitration, ask for Rask money, get it and be pissed off at you, which is not great considering he will be a free agent in 2 years, and there is not much in the way of prospects behind him. It is easy to play hardball on the internet. It is only for 2 years anyway. It also says NOTHING about what Hall and Eberle will be offered next year. Assuming normal progression that will be based on contracts like Taveres ($5.5 mill for 6 more years) and Toews ($6.3 3 years left). Term will be a factor, the fact they are not FAs will be a factor, and the kind of years they have and what it says about their long-term potential will also be a factor.

If possible the Oil will likely want them to sign them to identical deals to set a precedent for Nuge and Yak, which they will use as a selling point to keep the contracts within reason, so they can all stick together.

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#7 French Toast Mafia
July 05 2012, 10:59PM
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The cap is at 70 million if nobody has noticed.... Not 50 million anymore. They will lock up all the kids.

But everyone can continue to talk about how all these players can't be signed.

We've got these kids and they are not going anywhere anytime soon. Nobody sounds any smarter or cooler dishing out doom and gloom about the Oilers losing all there good players in 3 years.

DD is a 2 year contract just like Hemsky. The money means very little at this point. Chill out folks and we will watch them climb outta the cellar and back into the playoffs. Doesn't happen overnight

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#8 Pouzar99
July 06 2012, 12:37AM
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Save percentage comparisons are only meaningful when the number and quality of chances faced are similar. Your 20-0 record fighting only tomato cans pales in meaning compared to another guy's 16-2 against the best competition.

Did anyone watch any Bruin, Stars or Blues games last year? Would you say that Rask, Halak and Lehtonen faced the same number and quality of shots as Dubnyk? How many times was making the first save enough for those guys? How about in Dubnyk's case? I could go on, but lets just stay stats are like dynamite. They can be effective but they can also blow up in your face if you don't use them correctly.

Those figures MIGHT be useful for comparing Rask, Halak and Lehtonen, all of whom played behind stellar defenses, but not to Dubnyk, whose worst enemies were usually teammates.

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#9 Cko
July 05 2012, 07:59PM
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Who cares, its not like this is for the next 15 years. Its a bit of an overpayment but its not like wideman who is locked up for the next 6 years. if he flops then were back to looking for a legit starting goalie, if he continues to improve then like brownie said he will wanna stay here.

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#10 Smokey
July 05 2012, 08:04PM
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I don't get the overpay, but I think he's going to earn it. He's had the worst defensive core in the NHL in front of him and has had no room for mistakes and has done well. The Perry signing was really good. It's like the Oil overpaid Dubby a mil and underpaid Petry a mil.

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#11 bazmagoo
July 05 2012, 08:14PM
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Total overpay, can't wait to see what Hall, Ebs, Nuge, and Yakupov get in their second deals. I'm guessing north of $7-8 million per season.

Tambellini is not the guy to guide this team, this is an awful deal for the Oilers and sends the message (again) that we are willing to pay for potential and not bonafide NHL play.

Hopefully Dubby proves me wrong and it looks like a bargain at the end of the term.

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#12 godot10
July 05 2012, 08:27PM
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It is an overpay, but it is now all on Dubnyk. No excuses. He is being paid like a(n) (emerging) starter. He has to deliver. The two year term means the Oilers are not taking on duration risk, so I'm not going to fret about it. It has no medium or long term cap implciations.

It's all on you Devan.

You are being paid for the production that we expect. We expect the production. You are being fully paid to deliver it.

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#13 Cody anderson
July 05 2012, 08:33PM
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I thnk he will earn this money but I think it would have shown more faith in him offering him 3 million for 5 years and buying some of his UFA years.

I don't think an arbitrator would have given him more then 1.5 million as he is not a proven #1. I also think every overpay we do on negotiating contracts sets bad precedents for future negotiations. If it had no bearing on other negotiations and we are not near the cap then I wouldn't care at all.

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#14 WhattaMike
July 05 2012, 08:45PM
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IMO, the contract to Duby is not too bad as it is for two years. I have seen much worse deals and Souray's, Horcoff's, and then Khabby's at four years too, comes to mind.

That being said, I like the Dubster and his record is very decent among other higher type name tenders. I also think he is going to improve more so this year as well. He seems to have that temperament of positivity and being very tall and athletic helps alot too.

Petry's deal is great as it is not an overpay and it is for two years of which he will still be an RFA as well afterwards. Way to go youngster...loking forward to both having wach a very good progress season.

I also like the Byers deal and I think he will give Eager a good run for his money. Sioze, toughness and scoring ability is very comparable and maybe netter than Eager's right now, albeit at the AHL level. But he is only 26 and that is good.

Gagner is okay with going to arbitration and I think his contract will not be a huge type overpayment based on his seasons thus far.

So I say it was not too shabby a day for the Oilers.

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#15 Jasmine
July 05 2012, 09:00PM
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Do people not realize that Dubnyk is foregoing 1 year of UFA. Typical Oilers fans will always find something negative about the team.

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#16 Quicksilver ballet
July 05 2012, 09:06PM
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Jasmine, what would a goaltender with approx 36 career wins be worth going into unrestricted free agency?

How many season will Dubey have to play to break Brodeurs alltime wins record?

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#17 toprightcorner
July 05 2012, 09:19PM
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This over pay is a clear indicator that Tambellini does not plan very far into the future. If an unproven goalie with average success, at best, gets this type of money, what happens to Hall and Ebs next year. Dubnyk - $3.5 mill = Hall and Ebs - $6.5 mill next year and Nuge $7.5 mill in 2 years. That means we will not be able to keep them all for any length of time.

If you hope to get a good young group of guys to give a discount to play together for a long time to do something special, you can overpay the average players.

In 2010, Quick went 39-24-7 2.24 an .918 and got signed for $1.8 mill cap hit for 3 years. Not saying Dubnyk will be close to Quick but shows what a young inexperienced goalie is actually worth after 1 good season.

This scares me on how Tambo will handle our salaries over the next 3 years and we will be losing the guys that are supposed to get us to the promised land.

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#18 Jon
July 05 2012, 09:28PM
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book¡e wrote:

I do like how people rant about it without giving comparable, available alternatives, etc.

I like it because ranting is so easy.

As far as I am concerned all these people know nothing and DD's contract fits right in with the league norm these days for his current record, particularly considering he play in the second half of the year behind an AHL calibre defense.

(note - that's my ill informed rant btw - if you don't like it, find the facts to disprove it).

Probably the best statistical comparable out there is Michal Neuvirth, 2nd partial NHL season just like Dubnyk, finished with a .914 SV% in 48 games. Dubnyk had the same SV% in 47 games, so very similar years. Neuvirth got 2.3 M for 2 years. The difference of course is that Dubnyk gave up a UFA year.

As much, as the Oilers will say how much they believe in Dubnyk, that' BS...they know they overpaid him, but they had to, they couldn't risk having to find a new starting goalie next year (all the good guys get locked up early) and Dubnyk's agent knew that and took advantage of it.

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#19 Walter Sobchak
July 05 2012, 10:04PM
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It's not at all as bad as people make it out to be, minor overpayment.

Here is a really good reference.

http://lowetide.ca/blog/2012/07/oilers-sign-dubnyk-petry.html#comment-182997

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#20 Bushed
July 05 2012, 11:08PM
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I agree with RB. You don't pay for results before you've proven your worth with consistent results.

Would Dubnyk not get the same "vote of confidence" with a mere tripling of his previous salary, for 2.5M?

It's easy to be flip about "only" a million overpay when it's Katz's money, but there are broader issues here, too. How do you think Ryan Smyth feels about it after taking a discount on his contract, only to see an overpay elsewhere?

It's bad enough that the players have to deal with the Horcoff contract for years to come.

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#21 justDOit
July 06 2012, 12:10AM
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Bushed wrote:

I agree with RB. You don't pay for results before you've proven your worth with consistent results.

Would Dubnyk not get the same "vote of confidence" with a mere tripling of his previous salary, for 2.5M?

It's easy to be flip about "only" a million overpay when it's Katz's money, but there are broader issues here, too. How do you think Ryan Smyth feels about it after taking a discount on his contract, only to see an overpay elsewhere?

It's bad enough that the players have to deal with the Horcoff contract for years to come.

I think that Smyth should feel a little less valuable than a big, young, promising goalie. He should also be pretty thankful to still make good money to play in the city he wants to play in. And because he's basically here to mentor the young-uns and show them the NHL ropes, he should do whatever he can to help DD earn that contract.

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#22 Rocknrolla
July 06 2012, 01:54AM
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I like the bet...definitely overpay but I hope it pays off.

Scary thing for me is the 0 playoff games played in ahl/NHL.

Great goalie is different than a winner.

@quicksilver ballet

http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/nhl/players/686/career

Wow... good time to take a peek at that career stat for brodeur. That is a winner right there. Hope this bet pays off, and Duby can learn to win with the core. Great foundation, but may take a while to be that true winner.

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#23 pelhem grenville
July 06 2012, 07:20AM
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...this is total BS ... almost a four and a half times raise in his salary and he's done what ???

for gawds sake thanks for warning me ... how do i get these eight cherrios outta my nasal passage ...

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#24 Zamboni Driver
July 06 2012, 08:35AM
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This one actually makes me laugh.

I actually don't know if Dubnyk is any good (I actually think he has 'career backup' on a t-shirt underneath his XXL gear, but who knows?)

The funniest thing...the 'braintrust' strikes again.

Robin is right, not our money but..

Someone REALLY needs to explain to me - WHY?

Why in the world reward a sort of okay-ish goalie (anyone who says he's any better than that is dreaming in hideous blue and orange) with this much of a raise?

did they think someone was going to steal him away?

Really?

I think Spec or someone connected should do a quick straw poll of GMs in the NHL. Give them 5 seconds to answer this question. "Who is the Edmonton Oilers starting goalie?" I would bet the lunch money my mom gives me every morning that 98% of them say either "Uhhhhhhhhh........."

or "Khabibulin, isn't it?"

And for this...the geniuses that have brought you last, last, second last pay nearly $4 mil for "Oh yeah, the tall guy.".

Yeah, it really brings hope that things might turn around.

Ever.

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#25 Dman09
July 06 2012, 08:52AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

This one actually makes me laugh.

I actually don't know if Dubnyk is any good (I actually think he has 'career backup' on a t-shirt underneath his XXL gear, but who knows?)

The funniest thing...the 'braintrust' strikes again.

Robin is right, not our money but..

Someone REALLY needs to explain to me - WHY?

Why in the world reward a sort of okay-ish goalie (anyone who says he's any better than that is dreaming in hideous blue and orange) with this much of a raise?

did they think someone was going to steal him away?

Really?

I think Spec or someone connected should do a quick straw poll of GMs in the NHL. Give them 5 seconds to answer this question. "Who is the Edmonton Oilers starting goalie?" I would bet the lunch money my mom gives me every morning that 98% of them say either "Uhhhhhhhhh........."

or "Khabibulin, isn't it?"

And for this...the geniuses that have brought you last, last, second last pay nearly $4 mil for "Oh yeah, the tall guy.".

Yeah, it really brings hope that things might turn around.

Ever.

This must be a joke. So the guy plays a good half a season at the league average(stats wise) and then gets paid like a 12 year vet with a stanley cup ring. Hmmmm ya because that makes a whole lot of sense. I'm having a really hard time supporting the Oilers when I hear sh*t like this. When your job is to get as much bang for your buck, someone send Tambo a memo, and you make a deal like this it shows how completely out of touch with things he really is.

Hey Tambo, do you got to McDonalds and pay $200 for a meal when you walk in and hope they bring you a 5 star meal????? Because thats what this signing is looking like right.

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#26 mayorpoop
July 06 2012, 10:22AM
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@pelhem grenville

Josh harding is making back up money.

and just so i'm clear, Halak is worth it cause he "just" about won a cup all by himself and me thinking Dubnyk is worth it because of the last half season (potential)he had are different how?

imo Dubnyk is going to prove the naysayers wrong.

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#27 Dman09
July 06 2012, 10:28AM
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mayorpoop wrote:

@pelhem grenville

Josh harding is making back up money.

and just so i'm clear, Halak is worth it cause he "just" about won a cup all by himself and me thinking Dubnyk is worth it because of the last half season (potential)he had are different how?

imo Dubnyk is going to prove the naysayers wrong.

I'm not so sure people are doubting Dubby can do it, I think its more about getting better value out of your contracts and how Tambo doesn't seem to be able to do that at all. The only exception being the Smyth contract but if I'm being honest I didn't really want them to sign him anyway.

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#28 The Soup Fascist
July 06 2012, 11:21AM
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Although, in retrospect, if this means Dubey has enough money that he never EVER has to do another "work safe" / power company commercial (Hey, look at the new guy!) it is money well spent.

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#29 nunyour
July 06 2012, 02:10PM
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put this contract on the bad management side,you never pay someone for something they might do,you pay they for what they have earned.

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#30 ItsTheBGB
July 05 2012, 07:48PM
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No.

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#31 dawgtoy
July 05 2012, 07:49PM
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Its an overpay, not a huge one IMO

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#32 robinrussia
July 05 2012, 07:51PM
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2.5 million would have sent the same message!

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#33 Ern Beckett
July 05 2012, 07:55PM
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Think Grant Fuhr. Make sure you let in less than the amount your team scores and do a little magic from time to time...Worth every cent!

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#34 YFC Prez
July 05 2012, 08:01PM
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Tambi should stay away from goalies...he's really good at over paying the position.

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#35 Mac962
July 05 2012, 08:04PM
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I am sorry but that is ridiculous. WTF Oilers ? I like Dev and he could turn into the real deal but my gawd...... If i can quit smoking i know my jungle cat reflexes can earn me half that..

OK maybe not...Grab the bull by the horns Dev, i would take it as well no doubt... But fail and you will hear it even though its not your fault.

I love my OILERS and you are one of them.

ps...i feel better about this than Horc-cough...sorry. You are way overpaid my friend, again, i wish it was me.......

Mac

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#36 A-Mc
July 05 2012, 08:04PM
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Well i certainly hope krueger commits to duby and makes gives him the VAST majority of starts: even if he faulters. Even though he started more games than khabi, it certainly felt like he was being treated as #2.

Congrats duby! I hope you have a fantastic season in 12-13

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#37 Smokey
July 05 2012, 08:06PM
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Perry was supposed to be Petry. Lol

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#38 Ern Beckett
July 05 2012, 08:11PM
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I believe dooby will be inspired to show he is worth it....might make Tamby look like a genius...OK....not a genius. Maybe just lucky.

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#39 Quicksilver ballet
July 05 2012, 08:14PM
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.426 winning %. He must be getting some back pay.

http://youtu.be/YlLqBIk4kiQ

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#40 The polak
July 05 2012, 08:20PM
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Who cares if its overpayment, they have the money to spend, and are not against the cap, also therebare no free agents that they are interseted in.

You saying overpayment cause you are jealous

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#41 vetinari
July 05 2012, 08:23PM
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I was somewhat surprised at the amount Dubnyk got and thought that he would end up in the $2M-$2.5M range over 2 to 3 years. Of course, this is the same team that handed out candyland contracts to Horcoff, Souray, Brule, Pisani, and others over the years.

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#42 G Money
July 05 2012, 08:30PM
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Hazard pay (he says only half joking).

Some of the overpayment seems like a tradeoff with term (i.e. long term less money vs short term mo money)... I'm OK with 3.5M for 2 as it gives Dubie every chance to prove he's a #1, but won't handcuff the team if he doesn't.

Also, in some ways Dubie has already proven he's capable of playing at a #1 level for 40+ games. Smokey called it - Dubs had a league average .914 save average (which by eye he earned) playing behind what we all acknowledge was a fairly horrible defense. So really the issue now is whether he can make it happen for 55 to 60 games. I think he will.

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#43 Freewheeling
July 05 2012, 08:30PM
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3.5 yikes.800,000 too much.Tambellini scares me .Anybody for Mac T for gm ? Daryl time to step in before we get sewered.

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#44 DoubleJ
July 05 2012, 08:39PM
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My guess is klowe did this deal and tambo did the Petry deal. Klowe is insane with his loyalty contracts and this reeks of klowe. That said I don't think it's that bad just because of the term.

So I'm ok with it. DD is a solid goalie who could become a great goalie so let's hope for the best.

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#45 hemi
July 05 2012, 08:40PM
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In the NHL world of high salaried hockey players, is this really out of the norm? Perhaps some of the comments here reflect that he is but it still does not make it abnormal. He has two years to show his stuff. In my humble opinion, the money he is being paid is of no consequence to his performance. DD has played with a horrible team in front of him since he has been with the Oil. Can he not be considered as part of the growing up stage of the young Oilers?

Oh we are a fickle bunch……….we are an unbelievable at times, this being one of those times. Go prove all of the nay-sayers wrong!

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#46 Belly
July 05 2012, 09:07PM
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Who handcuffed who?

He is going to be "quick" but a foot or more taller!

It is a show of faith for a big payout for the kid who has put out the work. 2 more years he could run away, but remember that guy that rewarded him.....

Mac-T. I mean Mr. Katz, Tambellini, Lowe.

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#47 50 in 39
July 05 2012, 09:13PM
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I like the message the deal sends. Dubnyk plays his best with his confidence boosted. There won`t be anymore questions about who is the team`s starter. The fact that he is not totally proven yet is why you don`t gamble on a long term deal in case you have to change plans. If Dubnyk impresses then you have created good will when resigning him as a UFA.

Sure it is a bit too much money but what does it matter. Khabibulin is off the books next year. Its Katz who has to swallow it, not the fans.

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#48 ray
July 05 2012, 09:17PM
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wow...i couldnt believe it when i first read dubs contract..i agree with you robin...one million more than i would pay. I'll bet gagner is pretty excited now! By the way Robin, are you like me....why wasn't Yak signed before he left?

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#49 Mutt Heatly
July 05 2012, 09:29PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

This over pay is a clear indicator that Tambellini does not plan very far into the future. If an unproven goalie with average success, at best, gets this type of money, what happens to Hall and Ebs next year. Dubnyk - $3.5 mill = Hall and Ebs - $6.5 mill next year and Nuge $7.5 mill in 2 years. That means we will not be able to keep them all for any length of time.

If you hope to get a good young group of guys to give a discount to play together for a long time to do something special, you can overpay the average players.

In 2010, Quick went 39-24-7 2.24 an .918 and got signed for $1.8 mill cap hit for 3 years. Not saying Dubnyk will be close to Quick but shows what a young inexperienced goalie is actually worth after 1 good season.

This scares me on how Tambo will handle our salaries over the next 3 years and we will be losing the guys that are supposed to get us to the promised land.

Agreed.

The Oiler brain trust play a dangerous game insofar as future contracts are concerned. Regardless of who's money it is, it's too much. Should have been $1.5 - $2M/yr; let him EARN the big money next contract.

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#50 Giant Squid Overlord
July 05 2012, 09:45PM
Trash it!
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Sure we definitely could have signed him for less, but for an organization that has developed him slowly, demonstrating confidence in a netminder while handing him the starting position is a good move.

Dubnyk was scholastic player of the year in junior if my Swiss cheese memory serves, and he has always come across as a grounded, level headed person who can handle the lofty expectations put on him today. Just like Krueger preaches, the organization is sending a clear message to DD. I'm excited and optimistic that he'll take this message, and prove his worth.

This also buys loyalty when the next contract(s) are negotiated. If he becomes elite, this gesture will not be forgotten by DD.

Finally, his numbers thus far may not compare to Rask or Schneider, but neither did the D and team before him.

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