According to The Athletic’s Michael Russo, the Minnesota Wild are heavily considering a buy out for goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
Russo notes that should the Wild go this route, the reasoning behind the move would be to open up a roster space and not necessarily to save cap space.
Dubnyk’s NHL career has taken a real downturn over the past few months. That said, a lack of production isn’t something he hasn’t battled through before. Dubnyk joined the Wild after failed stops in Edmonton, Nashville, Arizona and Montreal. He was almost out of the league before landing with the Wild on and going on a tear. In 2014-15, when he joined the team, his save percentage jumped to .936 and his GAA dropped to 1.78 over the span of 39 games where he had 27 wins. It was quite the season.
His numbers never quite hit that mark again, but he stayed the Wild’s starting goaltender until 2018-19 and earned himself a lucrative longer-term deal thanks to his consistent play. But, last season, things went off the rails.
He had some personal issues to look after and he struggled mightily with a 3.35 GAA and a .890 save percentage over the 30 games. Alex Stalock came in and essentially won the starting role. There is some real concern Dubnyk may not get his game back.
The Wild Have Other Plans
It appears the Wild have different plans, ones that don’t include Dubnyk. That makes sense consider the cost associated to keeping Dubnyk as a backup. Russo writes:
If the Wild execute buyouts this offseason for Dubnyk or Victor Rask, I think the purpose would be to create roster spots, not necessarily for the extra cap space it would bring.
That spot that would open up because of Dubnyk’s departure would go to Kappo Kahkonen or a free agent. Russo added that the Wild may plan to promote Kahkonen to the NHL roster or look out to free agency to see if there is another option available that will provide more consistent goaltending. They could look for someone like Braden Holtby or trade for a goalie like Matt Murray.
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