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.”