Devan Dubnyk (Bruce Kluckhohn/Getty Images)
The breakout netminder just signed a new six-year pact that will keep him with the Wild, but was the sample size big enough to justify such a long deal?
Devan Dubnyk was incredibly valuable in getting Minnesota to the post-season. Apparently, that value was six more years of service for a grand total of $26 million.
That`s the pact the netminder just signed with the Wild, bringing a reasonable cap hit of $4.3 million with it. But the length is something to behold.
Dubnyk, who struggled for much of his NHL career in Edmonton, did indeed become a new man this season, first showing promise in Arizona and then going into hyperspeed with Minnesota. His 1.78 goals-against average and .936 save percentage in 39 games with the Wild was impressive and helped him earn the Masterton Trophy for perseverance.
I hope this is the Devan Dubnyk Minnesota gets next season, but it`s a problem if he regresses. Minnesota is a win-now team and as daunting as Chicago is, the Wild must go through the Blackhawks if a Stanley Cup is going to come to the North Star State.
Goaltending will be paramount and if Dubnyk falters, the franchise will be rather stuck (no offense to backup Darcy Kuemper).
Of course, goaltending is so hard to nail down these days that I can see why GM Chuck Fletcher would take the risk. It`s a good cap hit for a starting goalie and if the Wild have confidence in Dubnyk, then there`s not much more to say.
But it`s a long contract for a 29-year-old netminder who has never won 30 games in an NHL season.