Devan Dubnyk will return to Edmonton and could face his old team just 11 days after the Oilers traded the goalie to the Nashville Predators.
The struggling Oilers host the Predators on Sunday. It’s unknown at this point whether Dubnyk will get the start against his old team, which he played 171 games for and was a first-round pick of in 2004. He was dealt to Nashville on Jan. 15 for forward Matt Hendricks.
“It’s a quick turnaround coming back,” Dubnyk told The Tennessean.
“It’ll be nice to see my family, my wife and my little boy. I’m looking forward to that a lot, and I spent a lot of time with those guys (the Oilers) too. It’ll be nice to poke my head in and say hi.
“I’ve never been traded or anything like that … It’ll be a new experience for me. But lots of guys do it. It’s something you have to go through. It’ll be a quick turnaround to happen, but it’ll be fun.”
Since the trade, Dubnyk has played only twice for the Predators and has not recorded a win with his new team.
Predators head coach Barry Trotz had a stern critique of Dubnyk’s game following his first start with Nashville on Jan. 18 – a 5-4 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.
“We got Devan from Edmonton, and what we realized very quickly was that Devan has a lot of… I’ll say bad habits he’s picked up this year,” Trotz said earlier in the week.
“We started him at home, and you could really see he was out of sync in his game, so we wanted to spend some time with him working with [goaltending coach] Mitch Korn, just being able to get his game in order.”
Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.
Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.
The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.
“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.
Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.
“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”
The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.
Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.
Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.
“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”
Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:
- He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
- Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
- The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.
Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.
Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?