• Oilers Repeat Mistakes Of Past

    by Tyler Dellow • January 15, 2014 • Hockey • 9 Comments

    Well, the inevitable happened and Devan Dubnyk is no longer an Edmonton Oiler. How badly did the Oilers want this to happen? They wanted it to happen so badly that they took on Matt Hendricks, a fourth liner in the first year of a four year. Who is 32 years old. We’ve seen this movie before and talked about why multi-year deals for bottom six forwards in their thirties are a terrible idea.

    Those are links to stuff about Eric Belanger and the attrition rate for bottom six forwards in their thirties; I could link to similar stuff about Ethan Moreau. The line between being an NHLer and an AHLer is faint and blurry for guys on that part of the roster at that age. Having them on four year deals is an amazingly poor idea. Edmonton fans have watched this play out before. I guess we’ll get to watch it play out again.

    Generally when a team makes a bad deal, it’s because they’re in a spot where they perceive the alternative to making the deal as being extremely unpalatable. The Oilers didn’t want to embark upon a full blown rebuild in 2007, so they signed Dustin Penner and Sheldon Souray. The Oilers had a deal in place for Ben Scrivens and wanted the roster spot. Was there an alternative to taking on Matt Hendricks’ contract in order to get Dubnyk off the roster?

    It seems to me that there was an obvious alternative: send Dubnyk to Oklahoma City. Sure, it stinks for Dubnyk’s career given that he’s probably looking to drag his save percentage above .900 before he becomes a free agent but then Dubnyk’s career is not the Oilers’ problem. If faced with a choice between what’s best for Dubnyk’s career and what’s best for the Oilers, the decision is simple: do what’s best for the Oilers. The Oilers went another way. At the end of the year he goes. The Oilers get nothing in return but then nothing trumps negative something. There are Hendricks’ available for very little every summer who don’t need four year deals at $1.85MM. The Oilers just ate a ton of risk that Hendricks won’t be able to play in the NHL in a year or two for no apparent reason.

    As far as the rest of it goes, the writing was on the wall for Dubnyk since last summer. He was leaving and, given that I kind of think he’s a nice league average goalie who was caught in a nightmare in Edmonton this year, I’m happy that he’ll get a few months to rehabilitate his reputation in Nashville before moving on. He gave the Oilers three years of respectable goaltending on terrible teams and then this year happened. I’d bet on him helping someone next year. If the Predators are able to spin him to a team looking for goaltending help at the deadline, I’ll get a laugh.

    Scrivens? He’s played reasonable well everywhere he’s been. I like teams identifying guys like this and rolling the dice on them. He’s a UFA at the end of the year although guys who have yet to make their names tend to be pretty happy to sign a one way deal if it’s offered to them. I’ve got no problems with the Oilers replacing Dubnyk with him in the longer term. I don’t think that doing this required that they eat David Poile’s mistake but then that seems to be the Oilers’ way. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

    Email Tyler Dellow at mc79hockey@gmail.com

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    9 Responses to Oilers Repeat Mistakes Of Past

    1. baleener
      January 15, 2014 at

      There are repercussions to treating players poorly (i.e. sending Dubs to OKC). Word travels around the NHL as to how teams treat their players. It’s already hard enough getting players to Edmonton. Souray and Prongs are probably already spreading the word.

      • dawgbone
        January 15, 2014 at

        Pronger was treated poorly?

        I don’t get how sending an underperforming player to the minors is treating them poorly. The Rangers, Leafs, Blackhawks, etc… have all done something similar and haven’t had trouble signing players.

        • Ryan
          January 16, 2014 at

          Exactly.
          It’s a completely false narrative. The Rangers and their ability to still go out and get the most desirable FAs are proof of that.

          The thing is, FAs in high demand are not thinking about being so bad one day that they’ll have to be buried or bought out. It’s just not on their radar. And frankly, if it is you’re better off not signing that player anyways.

          This line of thinking just needs to stop. It’s too lazy and completely ignorant to how human beings operate.

    2. rubbertrout
      January 15, 2014 at

      Isn’t the risk just money though? I agree why take on the term on a bad bet but it might be more palatable to potential FA’s and guys with NMC and NTCs to go to a squad who is willing to put a fourth liner who has outlasted his usefulness to the minors than a guy who was, at least for the moment, ostensibly a starter?

    3. Chris.
      January 15, 2014 at

      Five hours ago the Oilers had one less bad contract, a high third round pick, and a different unproven UFA goaltender.

      This may be the most expensive audition ever… I sure hope Scrivens works out.

    4. Woodguy
      January 15, 2014 at

      “We had a lot of guys that the best they were going to be in any given game was a non-factor.” – Craig MacTavish

    5. Romulus' Apotheosis
      January 15, 2014 at

      “The Oilers had a deal in place for Ben Scrivens and wanted the roster spot. Was there an alternative to taking on Matt Hendricks’ contract in order to get Dubnyk off the roster?”

      Looking at this in light of the Smid trade/Bryz signing…

      It sure looks like Ricky-O might be a panicky little twit freaking everyone out about the cap, roster spots and the CBA… none of which he understands very well, which adds to the anxiety… it’s some sort of feed-back loop that he’s got them all stuck in over there… don’t tap that well, whatever you do!

    6. stealthwise
      January 15, 2014 at

      The funniest part is that the Oil could have placed Dubnyk on waivers and there’s a good chance Nashville STILL would have picked him up because they needed something in net. MacT got bluffed at the poker table and ate it.

      • Curcro
        January 16, 2014 at

        Apparently the Oilers offered Hendricks more money to come to YEG in the summer. So Hendricks is someone MacT wanted.

        Poile had no need of bluffing.

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