Devan Dubnyk

Oilers’ Dubnyk: “Not easy” for North American goalies to find work


Devan Dubnyk wants to play hockey, but his nationality is making it tough.

According to the Oilers netminder (and Canadian passport holder), the opportunities presented to European goalies during the lockout aren’t as flush for North Americans.

“I haven’t seen any North Americans,” Dubnyk told the Edmonton Journal about the list of goalies currently playing overseas. “I have a few options in Europe, but it’s not easy for a North American goalie to pick up and go over.

“It has to be the right situation.”

To date, almost all the jobs have gone to European-born netminders.

Pekka Rinne, Ilya Bryzgalov, Semyon Varlamov and Sergei Bobrovsky signed in the KHL; Tuukka Rask and Ondrej Pavelec joined the Czech Extraliga; Antti Niemi returned to his native Finland and Viktor Fasth, signed to be Jonas Hiller’s backup in Anaheim, joined the Swedish second division.

(Note: LA Kings goalie and Quebec native Jonathan Bernier did buck the trend earlier today by signing in the German second division. Same with American/Isles goalie Rick DiPietro, who signed there yesterday.)

It’s a curious trend considering a large number of NHL skaters found no problem getting work, and even more curious given the slew of talented North American goalies currently out of work:

— Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury finished second in the NHL with 42 wins last season.

— Phoenix’s Mike Smith finished fourth in Vezina voting.

— Cory Schneider finished third with a 1.96 GAA last year. Jimmy Howard finished sixth with a 2.13.

— Carey Price was one of the six goalies named to the 2012 NHL All-Star game in Ottawa.

(List excludes LA’s Jonathan Quick, currently recovering from back surgery.)

The result is that goalies like Dubnyk are forced to practice, practice and practice again while the work stoppage drags on.

It’s a situation that’s beginning to take it’s toll.

“Look at the number of goalies still here (in North America),” he explained. “It’s not ideal for any of us.”

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
1 Comment

Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
Leave a comment

Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?