Devan Dubnyk

Oil change: Edmonton trades Dubnyk to Preds for Hendricks


The Edmonton Oilers made a significant shift in goal on Wednesday, sending Devan Dubnyk to Nashville in exchange for veteran forward Matt Hendricks.

Dubnyk, the club’s first-round pick (14th overall) at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, has spent his entire five-year career in Edmonton, the last two as the club’s No. 1 netminder. He’s in the last of a two-year, $7 million deal and will be a UFA at season’s end.

Hendricks, part of Nashville’s big summer free agent spree, is in the first of a four-year, $7.4 million deal. The 32-year-old has two goals and four points in 44 games this year, but is regarded as an energy/checking guy that can win faceoffs, kill penalties, fight and score in the shootout (at least he did in Washington.)

Some ramifications of this deal:

— Are the Oilers setting things up for another move? Remember, GM Craig MacTavish moved Ladislav Smid just prior to acquiring Ilya Bryzgalov, so the precedent is there.

According to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, the Oilers will retain half of Dubnyk’s salary.

— It’s now officially Ilya Bryzgalov’s net in Edmonton.

— What does the Dubnyk acquisition mean for the health of Preds No. 1 Pekka Rinne?

— Is Nashville in regret mode regarding all the money it dropped this summer? This was GM David Poile just seven months ago:

“We have never been this active in free agency and for sure (on) the first day, signing five players,” Poile said. “Free agency can be a whirlwind where people go a little bit crazy. I will let you judge that. We had a clear, definite plan going into this. We wanted to identify specific areas of need, and I think we signed players that fill specific roles for our hockey club.

“I think all the players that we signed today are going to make us better next year.”

Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.


‘Canes lose Wisniewski (lower body) 47 seconds into debut

Phil Kessel, James Wisniewski
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James Wisniewski‘s time as a Carolina Hurricane is off to a troubling start.

Wisniewski, acquired by the ‘Canes at this year’s draft, exited Thursday’s season-opener against Nashville early in the first period with a lower-body injury.

Shortly thereafter, the team ruled out his return.

Wisniewski, 31, was expected to play a fairly significant role on Carolina’s defense this year.

It’s unclear what the injury is or how severe it might be, but initial reports don’t sound good; Wisniewski appeared to be in significant pain and had to be helped off the ice.