It’s Official, The Wild Trade Devan Dubnyk to San Jose

PHOTO: CARLOS GONZALEZ • CGONZALEZ@STARTRIBUNE.COM

The Minnesota Wild’s busy day just became chaotic. General Manager Bill Guerin has traded away the franchise’ cornerstone goaltender, Devan Dubnyk, to the San Jose Sharks for a 5th round pick in the 2022 draft. Hopefully, you were not too attached to yelling “DUUUUBS” during games…

This should not come as much of a surprise to Wild fans, especially after Guerin traded Ryan Donato away to the Sharks hours earlier. Dubnyk’s name has been popping up in trade discussions around the league, for months. It had become clear, Dubnyk’s time in Minnesota was coming to an end. Now, it’s becoming official.



The Writing On The Wall

While 2020 has been a bitch to everyone, Dubnyk has received an especially short end of the stick, and didn’t appear to be himself throughout the season. He dealt with a serious medical emergency involving his wife, that forcing him out of action for an extended period of time.

Play went on and Dubnyk eventually came back, but was a far cry from what he was in his first three and half years with the Wild. Remember, Devan Dubnyk was once the guy boasting a record of 134-70-20 with three All-Star appearances and two top-15 finishes for the Hart and Venzina trophies.

Shit started to hit the fan in 2018-19, when he posted a 31-28-6 record and the Wild missed the playoffs for the first time in six years. It continued into 2019-20 when he went 12-15-2 with a 3.35 GAA, his worst since coming to Minnesota.

The low-point came in the 2020 postponed playoffs. Dubnyk, although suited up, did not start a single game. The Minnesota Wild chose to go with Alex Stalock, instead. Trading Dubnyk, even if it only means a 5th-rounder in return, recovers $2.5 million in cap-space for next season. If the Wild had been forced to buy him out, they would have been set back a neat $4.33 million.



Stalock Is Not The Answer

Now don’t fret, Wild fans. Losing Dubnyk does not mean the Wild are going with a goaltender tandem of Alex Stalock and Kaapo Kahkonen. Although both showed promising signs, neither of them are good enough or ready to take over a team vying for the playoffs.

Instead, Geurin and Co. could utilize the Dubnyk move to free up more cap space for a different front-line net-minder. With a free agent market saturated with good goaltenders, it would not be much of a shock if this is a move they favor. If the Wild do not retain much or any of Dubnyk’s salary, this move could pay massive dividends.

With Dubnyk on the roster and everything we know, the Wild now have nearly $20 million to throw around this offseason. That is no chump change. Do we know who the Wild would vie for? No. But even if they roll with Stalock and Kahkonen, they could find other much needed assistance elsewhere.

Jack Kewitsch | Minnesota Sports Fan