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Dubnyk ‘can’t see a reason’ for Edmonton’s goalie pursuit


Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish has admitted he tried to land former LA Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier (who went to Toronto) and former Vancouver goalie Cory Schneider (who went to New Jersey).

Which begs the question — what does his current goalie think of all this?

“It’s a little surprising to me,” incumbent No. 1 Devan Dubnyk told the Edmonton Journal. “To my eyes, I can’t see a reason for it.”

Dubnyk, 27, handled a full-time starter’s gig for the first time last season (appearing in 79 percent of games; previous high was 57), and performed reasonably well.

While his record (14-16-6) left something to be desired, he finished with a .920 save percentage and 2.57 GAA, solid numbers considering the Oilers weren’t exactly playing airtight defense in front of him.

What’s more, he’s got a contract.

Edmonton inked Dubnyk to a two-year, $7 million deal in 2012, one that carries an average annual cap hit of $3.5 million.

While not a massive sum, it’s still more than Niklas Backstrom’s new deal in Minnesota ($3.4 million), Craig Anderson’s in Ottawa ($3.1 million) and Semyon Varlamov’s in Colorado ($2.8 million) — and all those guys are firmly entrenched as No. 1 netminders.

Dubnyk said he’s ready to be a “60-game goalie” this season and prepared to lead the Oilers in a playoff push.

But, he also concedes MacTavish’s moves stung a bit.

“My job is to try and stop pucks,” he explained. “It was surprising and disappointing, but right now, not much has changed.

“Until I’m told otherwise that I’m not No. 1, that’s where my head’s at.”

Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.