Minnesota Wild Trade Former All-Star Devan Dubnyk To San Jose Sharks

NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 30: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) NHL player Devan Dubnyk attends the 2016 NHL All-Star Red Carpet at Bridgestone Arena on January 30, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 30: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) NHL player Devan Dubnyk attends the 2016 NHL All-Star Red Carpet at Bridgestone Arena on January 30, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Wild fans say so long to former All-Star goalie Devan Dubnyk after 6 six years in the State of Hockey.

Over the last week, it has been rumored the San Jose Sharks have been serious about acquiring goaltender Devan Dubnyk and forward Ryan Donato from Minnesota. In the last couple of days, trade talks between the Wild and Sharks have certainly been picking up steam. If you missed it, Ryan Donato was traded to San Jose earlier today.

A couple of weeks ago, Wild GM Bill Guerin was asked about a potential buyout for Devan Dubnyk, Guerin stated simply he would not buyout Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk. So, it was just a matter of time before the rumblings of a potential Dubnyk trade would happen.

Before we dive into the actual trade itself, let’s take a look back at Dubnyk’s professional career in the NHL.

Dubnyk was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the 2004 draft (14th overall). Unfortunately for the Oilers, Dubnyk struggled a bit in his 5 years with the Oilers and was traded to the Nashville Predators for Forward Matt Hendricks on January 15, 2014.

The Canadian goaltender continued to struggle, posting a 4.35 GAA and a .850 SV% in Nashville before being traded to Montreal for future considerations on March 5, 2014. It was the same story different team for Dubnyk as he continued to struggle but this time with the Canadians’ AHL team.

Dubnyk was placed on waivers and picked up by the Arizona Coyotes. The 6-foot 6-inch goaltender appeared in 19 games for the Coyotes before being traded to Minnesota for a 3rd round pick in the 2015 draft on Jan 14, 2015.

Devan Dubnyk’s Minnesota Wild Achievements

When Dubnyk arrived in the State of Hockey, he started 39 straight games, carrying the Wild to the 2015 playoffs. Those 39 straight starts were the most by a goaltender since Evgeni Nabokov made 43 straight starts for the Sharks in 2007-08.

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Of those 39 games,19 were road games, where he went 15-2-1 with a 1.53 GAA, a .949 SV%, with 3 shutouts.

In 2015, he became the fastest goaltender to post 4 shutouts (nine games) and 5 shutouts (16 games) with a team since 1967-68.

He was the first goaltender in franchise history to record a shutout and a win in his team’s debut on Jan 15, 2015.

He won the 2015 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, finished 3rd in Vezina Trophy voting, and 4th in Hart voting.

One of four NHL goalies to earn 25-plus wins in their first five seasons with a team. Tony Esposito (CHI, 9), Henrik Lundqvist (NYR, 7), Roberto Luongo (VAN, 6), and Devan Dubnyk (MIN, 5).

Dubnyk is Minnesota’s Franchise Leader in games played, wins, and shutouts in the playoffs amongst Past Wild Goalie’s.

Omitting the outlier 2019-20 season: Since Jan 15, 2015, Dubnyk is 165-98-26 with a 2.32 GAA, a .920 SV%, and 22 shutouts in 298 games with Minnesota. Since the 2014-2015 season, he is third amongst Goalies in NHL in games played, ranks 8th in wins and shutouts, 11th in GAA and 10th in SV% in that span (min 200GP since 2014-2015). One of three goalies to win 30 games in each of the last 5 seasons (Holtby, Rinne).

The franchise leader in All-Star game appearances (2019, 2017, 2016)

Looking Forward

I think it’s safe to say Devan Dubnyk has been one of the best Goaltenders the Wild have ever had if not the best, in our 20-year history. Dubnyk had a rough 2019 year with struggles at home and in the crease. Say what you want about Dubnyk and his stats, but Minnesota is where he turned his career around and truly looked like a top 15th overall pick that he was.

Given his struggles early in the season before his wife’s medical emergency, it indicates likely that Dubnyk’s time as a top goaltender, could be over. The 34-year old will look to turn his career around once more this time in San Jose.

The Trade

For the Wild- this frees up $2.167M against the cap with Dubnyk’s contract on the hands of San Jose. The question is, what’s next for the Wild, and who is starting in goal next season? I think the Dubnyk trade opens the door for another trade, this time the Wild getting a goalie in return.

Possibly a Marc-André Fleury or Matt Murray, or even signing a guy like Thomas Greiss or Henrik Lundqvist. Maybe even a longshot like Jacob Markström. It will be interesting to see where Guerin goes from here but I sure know I’m excited to find out.

He could always sit tight, promote Kaapo Kahkonen to the Pro Roster, and get him meaningful experience. Have to find out what you have in your prospects eventually.

On the Sharks’ side of things- It is a bit of a head-scratcher for me in terms of the Sharks really pushing for Dubnyk.  The Sharks goaltending last season was similar to the Wild’s, dreadful.

Martin Jones really struggled in the crease, making Sharks head coach Bob Boughner have to put trust in their backup Aaron Dell. With Dell currently being a UFA, Dubnyk likely comes in as the number 2 guy behind Jones. Dubnyk and Jones struggled a lot last season but have been fairly solid the seasons before.

Maybe hope two goalies have a bounce-back year? If not, brace the Tank? Who knows?

All NHL stats courtesy of NHL.com and  hockeyreference.com