A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica Devan Dubnyk

In the summer of 2013, Devan Dubnyk was on top of the world. On August 12th his son Nathaniel was born. The disastrous four year contract the Oilers signed with goaltending drunk Nikolai Ivanovich Khabibulin had finally expired, and that meant that Dubnyk was going to start off the season with the uncontested starting goaltender job of his dreams. There had been talk of the Oilers picking up another major name, but in a league where inexperienced goaltenders come out of nowhere to become stars (Ben Bishop, Dwayne Roloson, Jonathan Quick, Tim Thomas) while long-established guys can become punchlines for no apparent reason (Antti Niemi, JS Giguère, Khabibulin), the Oilers decided to go with the kid, who played 38 games in the "lockout-shortened season" and posted a .920 SV%. (League average was .912)

For the Edmonton Oilers, though, the season's brightest spot is the week before opening day. The season opened with a wild home match against the Winnipeg Jets, and then the Oilers traveled to Vancouver to play the hated Canucks. As I sat at The Tavern on Whyte, I experienced the end of Devan Dubnyk's career with the Oilers. He was completely lit up for four goals in 31 shots, including two easy must-saves shot from near the blue line. Not for the first time that season, Martok had to put down his Guinness for a "Jesus Christ, Dubnyk" exclamation. Then things went downhill. Here's how the goals against line looked for the Oilers in October 2013, and remember we're descending into another Dead Puck Era.

The average number of goals against in 2013-2014 was 2.56. You just aren't going to win a lot of games giving up 3 goals or more, which Dubnyk and the Oilers did 12/14 times in October 2013. You certainly won't win a lot of games giving up 5 goals or more, which they did 4/14 times. The Oilers season, which started with so much hope [they all do. -ed] was dwindling away fast. By November 30th the Oilers had only won 8 games (a 0.296 winning percentage) and the knives were out for Devan Dubnyk.

No one was exactly sure why. New smaller goalie pads were introduced that same season to increase scoring, and unlike the rules for skaters (where Zdeno Charo gets a size exemption that Mike Richards doesn't) shorter goalies and taller goalies faced the same size restrictions.

Devan Dubnyk is 6'6". Other tall goaltenders didn't see a huge performance drop like Dubnyk did, though many (like me) asked how much his height plus his playing style would combine to make him less effective. No matter what the reason, though, at the New Year's break (a critical time in Oilers recent history) the Oilers had only won 13 games, and had been scored on 5 times or more on a whopping nine occasions, including a 6-0 shellacking by the St. Louis Blues. Dubnyk had a couple shutouts to his name, including a 7-0 rout of Columbus, but had also had a 6-game losing streak in between those shutouts. The fans were angry and restless and yet to blame everything on head coach Dallas Eakins. Blood was demanded, and blood was a sacrifice the Oilers organization eventually would have to make.

On January 15th, Devan Dubnyk's Year of Hell began: he was traded to the Nashville Predators and the Oilers went with Ben Scrivens as their new starter. Nashville only agreed to the deal which also moved Matt Hendricks to Edmonton when Oilers GM Craig MacTavish agreed to pay half of Dubnyk's $3.5M salary just to get him out of town. At the time of the deal Dubnyk had been credited with only 11 wins (the Oilers had 15 total), and had a .894SV% with a ridiculously high 3.36 GAA. His role was going back to what it had been in the Khabibulin era in Edmonton, too: a backup goaltender.

He was even worse, actually. He was a backup-backup. Nashville starter Pekka Rinne was on the long-term injured reserve list due to an infection related to a hip arthroscopy, and young Marek Mazanec was temporarily the starter. He also had a capable backup in the form of Carter Hutton, though the week before the trade coach Barry Trotz found himself criticizing Hutton's play. Unfortunately, after the Dubnyk trade Hutton got a chance to prome himself and was solid, with a .910SV% in his 40 games that year with the club. Dubnyk only had two chances to prove himself in Nashville, and he failed miserably: he let in 9 goals on 60 shots over those two games, and once Rinne returned to the lineup there was no room for Devan Dubnyk. The most dreaded possible outcome was now a reality: starting the season as the bona-fide #1, less than two months after being traded away in desperation, Devan Dubnyk was no longer an NHL goalie as the Nashville Predators put him on waivers and there were no takers. He was looking at a stint in Milwaukee with the Predators' farm team.

That didn't happen, however. Instead, a bit of a white knight came to his rescue. The Montreal Canadians traded for him instead, in a gambit that ensured he could be sent to the minors when Carey Price returned from his injury. Another slap in the face for Dubnyk came when Nashville had to agree to pay 50% of the 50% of the salary Edmonton didn't take. Montreal only had to pony up 25% of his cap hit.

Indeed, they didn't have to worry about that cap hit at all. Devan Dubnyk never played a single regular season game with the Montreal Canadians, instead relegating him to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. It was official: Devan Dubnyk was in the AHL now. He didn't exactly inspire a lot of confidence there either, as he only played 8 games with the team and posted a sub-par .893 SV% in a league full of sub-par. Meanwhile the Montreal Canadians were in the Stanley Cup finals, playing great and poised to make a deep run thanks to the insanely skilled play of goaltender Carey Price, back from injury and looking forward to engraving his name on the Stanley Cup. It looked like Devan Dubnyk's team would be making great strides, while he looked on the sidelines from his AHL backup role as the Bulldogs failed to make the postseason. Accomplished NHLer Peter Budaj was Price's backup, so there was no room for Dubnyk on the big team.

Montreal swept Tampa Bay to open up their playoff push, and in a thrilling 7-game series they took down their hated rivals the Boston Bruins and kept Jarome Iginla from winning a Stanley Cup. Carey Price and a young kid named P.K. Subban were a huge part of that Boston series: Price only let in a single goal in a 1-0 loss in Game 4, and got a shutout of his own in Game 6. He made 29 saves and Montreal was into the Conference Finals. Their opponent, the New York Rangers, had recently upset the Penguins and was a surprise finalist. Compared to the powerhouse Bruins, they seemed like an easy target, and Montreal fans were looking forward to an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals. It was hoped that they could do what Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, and then Vancouver had tried and failed to do: bring the Stanley Cup north of the 49th parallel for the first time since the Habs themselves in 1993. Though the Rangers had scored a couple goals on Price, one of which should have been saved, the Habs were only down 2-1 going into the second period of Game 1. The series was far from over!

But the NHL playoffs are a game of attrition, and hot goaltenders have an unfortunate pattern of going down. Dubnyk's former club knew that well, having lost Dwayne Roloson to injury in 2006 and losing out on a Stanley Cup in the process. Habs fans familiar with the Oilers' history had to have the name "Roloson" running through their heads when Chris Kreider ran into Carey Price (there was no penalty on the play, as Montreal's Alexi Emelin tripped him up during a breakaway), though at first it seemed harmless, Price played the rest of the second period. Fans were probably curious why he let in two more goals in the last minute of play, but then really got nervous when Peter Budaj suited up in the third. He allowed another 3 goals on only 8 shots, and Montreal was down 1-0 in the Conference Finals. The morning of Monday May 19th 2014, head coach Michel Therrien had to tell the press and the fans the news: the gold medal winning Carey Price was out for the series, possibly the playoffs. That left a hole in the Canadians' roster, and for that the NHL club needed to look at their AHL Bulldogs and use an emergency callup to bring in...Dustin Tokarski.

Dustin Tokarski had been the Bulldogs starting goaltender, Dubnyk had been his backup. Because of his humiliating season, when it came time to replace an injured Carey Price Dubnyk found himself fourth on the depth chart. Tokarski had impressed at the AHL level, and despite Montreal having two goalies with significant NHL experience (Dubnyk and Budaj combined for 445 games at the NHL level, Tokarski had 3), they went with the kid. In his first ever playoff game, Tokarski was solid enough at home, but the Rangers won 3-1 and sent the series back to New York. In Game 3, Tokarski was brilliant, out-duelling all-star Henrik Lundqvist and making 35 saves on 37 shots to post an outstanding 0.946 SV%, a win for his down-but-not-out-team, and...sealing Dubnyk's fate as an outsider looking in. Barring another injury if not two, his season was done for the year. Tokarski looked much more shaky in Game 4 and this time Lundqvist would not let the kid upstage him. A wild Game 5 didn't help either goaltender look good, and though Les Habitants staved off elimination, that was the last time they put a puck past King Henrik. Game 7 was another goaltender duel, and Tokarski was almost flawless with a 0.969 SV% allowing in only one goal. Montreal's offense couldn't muster any counteroffensive though, and in the end Devan Dubnyk's team was eliminated from the playoffs.

Worse, they were eliminated in a way that ensured he had no place in their future plans. They had a Olympic-calibre starter and a rising star who had shown he could handle the pressure of a Game 7 Stanley Cup elimination match. Devan Dubnyk had never suited up for an NHL playoff game. His big contract, the one that not one but two teams found so outrageous they demanded the poor sucker they traded with take on half of it, was finished. Dubnyk had cashed in from the Edmonton deal but he was now an AHL backup chased out of the NHL's worst post-lockout team. If he was ever going to make it back into the salary-cap NHL he would need to suck it up and take a pay cut.

He ended up taking a pay evisceration.

Remember the $3.5M that Dubnyk was making? Instead, his agent could only land him a measly $800,000 on a one-year deal, far closer to the $550,000 minimum wage than his previous salary. Even that minimal investment didn't sit well with a lot of Coyotes fans, as the comments to that news entry will attest. Dubnyk was a toxic property, even at a cheap level for an NHL backup (James Reimer costs the Maple Leafs $1.8M/yr, Michal Neivirth costs the Islanders $2.5M, and $3.4M for the Oilers' Viktor Fasth; at the time of Dubnyk's hiring the Devils had just endured $4.5M for backup Martin Brodeur and Pittsburgh shelled out $2 for Tomas Vokoun). Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes Fans were not impressed that if anything happened to starting goaltender Mike Smith, the alternative was the second stringer for the Hamilton Bulldogs. Still, Devan was at the very least going to be going to games at an NHL arena, suiting up for a team, and at the minimum sitting on the bench.

Mike Smith had played a total of 325 career NHL games at the time of the Dubnyk signing. Strong play with the Dallas Stars in a backup role to Marty Turco in 2006-2008 led to a controversial trade deadline deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning for Brad Richards (Tampa Bay's new ownership ground demanded roster changes in the years following their 2004 Stanley Cup). With Tampa Bay, Mike Smith started the 2008-2009 season but fell to an early injury in November, and was replaced by Olaf Kolzig (and with now-Calgary Flame Karri Ramo as his backup). When Smith came back from his injury, Kolzig himself went down, but Smith's season stalled out in February when a concussion (which he had concealed from team doctors) put him back on the injured reserve. He played 41 games that season and despite the injuries posted a solid .916SV%. Smith started the 2009-2010 season as the Lightning's starting goaltender, but backup Antero Nittymaki quickly began outplaying him, particularly in road games. (Some suspect an off-season incident where Smith took a puck to the head and possibly got another concussion to be the culprit). Soon Smith was in a tandem starter role, but quickly was becoming the "1B" rather than the "1A" option. Smith did recover, and by the end of the season had played 42 games with a .900 SV%. (Nittymaki did slightly better in his 49 games with a .909). Nittymaki went to San Jose the following season, and Mike Smith was again looking at a starter role. Unfortunately he fell to the injury bug again, missing a couple weeks with a knee injury and watching Dwayne Roloson and Dan Ellis take his job away from him. Like Dubnyk, he found himself missing out on his NHL dreams after returning from injury, being sent down to the minors for what Tampa GM Steve Yzerman called a three game "conditioning stint" to get some playing time in. Unlike Dubnyk he didn't finish up in the minors, only playing 5 games for the Norfolk Admirals, but the humiliation of being the third string goalie ended up the factor that caused him to leave to join the Arizona Coyotes in the offseason after his contract with the Bolts expired.

The change of scenery (and a new bride) did wonders: Mike Smith posted a .930 SV% his first year with the Coyotes, playing a career-high 67 games, 8 of them shutouts. On April 3rd he stopped 54 shots to get a shutout against Columbus, an NHL record (since surpassed by Ben Scrivens, who replaced Dubnyk in Edmonton). Arizona made the playoffs, but faced the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round. Phoenix won the opening game, mostly on the strength of Mike Smith's stellar .955 SV%. Unfortunately, in Game 2 Chicago's Andrew Shaw slammed into Smith's head. The concussion-prone 'tender laid on the ice for 5 minutes before returning to action, and Chicago won the game. Shaw was suspended for the next three games, however, and Mike Smith won Game 3 and 4 for his team with a combined .942 SV%. He was even better in the 1-0 Game 6 loss, and then shutout the powerhouse Blackhawks on 39 shots to advance the Coyotes to the second round. In the second round the Coyotes continued to watch their starter get peppered with shots, but Smith endured, posting a .943 SV% over the five games it took Phoenix to win the series, and a .947SV% in their 4 wins. Unfortunately, the playoffs routinely feature top goalies coming head-to-head, and Jonathon Quick of the LA Kings was standing in Mike Smith's way. The LA team roared to score four goals in three of the five games of the series. Smith posted a Game 4 shutout, but it was too late, and the eventual Stanley Cup Champions eliminated the Coyotes. Smith's name was in lights, but Coyotes fans had to wait to see their starter until the end of the NHL's third lockout. Upon his return, it was clear at least some of the magic was gone. He allowed ten goals over two games to start off the season, and then left the third game with another injury. Jason LaBarbera took over the starting duties, but only had a 4-6 record as a starter. Smith came back to play, and posted another .910SV% which was actually lower than LaBarbera's, and Phoenix missed the playoffs. For the full-length 2013-2014 season, Mike Smith started with an 11-3-3 record and the Coyotes looked to be a powerhouse. Smith even performed a rare NHL feat in a game against Detroit when he shot the puck into the empty net with 0.1 second left on the clock, getting scored with an NHL goal (he later scored on himself, one of the few cases of a "goalie +/-" being 0 but not throughout the season). Mike Smith was named to the Canadian Olympic team, and immediately started a slide featuring only three wings over 18 games. Smith attended the Olympics in Sochi, but never got to set foot on the ice due to the Carey Price/Roberto Luongo duo that performed an historic Olympic shutdown. Arizona again missed the playoffs, though Smith had played to a respectable .915 SV% he missed the last ten games of the season with yet another injury. Going into the 2014-2015 season, Mike Smith was the hot Olympic-quality 'tender that the newly minted Arizona Coyotes expected to rely on. The intention was certainly for Mike Smith to play the majority of the games, with Devan Dubnyk his below-average backup and/or recovery project.

Arizona did not start the season well. Mike Smith had vowed in the offseason he would train and get back to the top level that the team expected of him, but in his first game Winnipeg steamrolled past him to a 6-2 victory. Smith's poor performance led to Dubnyk getting the start against LA, where he stopped 24 of 26 shots to a victory. The next game was against Dubnyk's old team for several seasons until this mess began: the Edmonton Oilers. It was Mike Smith who got the start, and though he got the win he still let in four Edmonton goals. His third game of the season came against St. Louis where the Blues walked over the Coyotes 6-1. Mike Smith had allowed sixteen goals over three starts and only had a .822 SV%. Dubnyk got the next start and a shootout loss, but Smith got the call against Minnesota where the Wild's hot goaltender (remember that for later) made a 26-save shutout to hand Arizona another loss. Smith began getting streaky: he was solid in two games in a week against the Panthers, but was replaced by Dubnyk against Tampa Bay in between. Dubnyk's play wasn't that much better (though, as Oilers fans began to grumble in late October, his Edmonton replacements couldn't even catch his anemic numbers from the previous season, let alone his almost-league-average current tally), losing a wild 6-5 game to Washington (though he did make 32 saves). Mike Smith began to show signs of improvement by November and allowed only 5 goals in three games, but Dubnyk shone in a 5-0 stomping of the Vancouver Canucks. Coach Dave Tippet was so impressed by his 35-save performance that he gave Dubnyk the nod against his former team. So, on Sunday November 16th 2014, Devan Dubnyk walked into Rexall Place where he had played so often before, but for the first time as the enemy 'tender. Devan had no idea what to expect: he had been chased away from Edmonton almost with pitchforks, but his former club found that without him in the pipes they didn't get any more success than with him in there: in fact, they had less. The game opened up with a video tribute to Dubnyk and fellow former-Oilers teammate Sam Gagner. Fans mostly boored Dubnyk and cheered Gagner during the game, but excepting a late Taylor Hall goal that prevented a second-straight shutout, Dubnyk put in another great .970SV% performance and earned a first star which he paraded around the fans who begrudgingly cheered his success. Dubnyk got another win in his next start, lost his next, and appeared to be much the goaltender who the Oilers rode in 2011-2012: solid but streaky, capable of good games but never putting together a particularly strong stretch run. Mike Smith didn't fare much better, but with the bigger salary and pedigree comes a longer leash. Despite Devan Dubnyk being 9-5-2 with the Coyotes (Smith was 7-7-2) and a .916 SV% (Smith's was .882), Arizona GM Don Maloney publicly declared that he was "married" to Mike Smith as an Arizona Coyote, and that Mike Smith's our guy". Therefore, on the afternoon of January 14th 2015 the trigger was pulled, and Devan Dubnyk was traded to the Minnesota Wild.

January 15th 2014 was the day that he was traded away from Edmonton.

Devan Dubnyk had just endured a year of hell.

Over those 364 days Dubnyk had been a member of 6 different teams (Edmonton, Nashville, Montreal, Hamilton, Phoenix, Minnesota) and had played in five different cities while his wife and young son waited for him in sunny Lethbridge, Alberta. He had to watch the team he had been with for years decide to replace him with fresh blood, tried and failed to make an impression with his new team, been traded as AHL fodder, watched his team go to the NHL Conference Finals without him, and then after trying for a fresh start found he was playing good to have trade value but not good enough to keep. It was an emotional rollercoaster. Under such circumstances, it was unsure what would happen in the next phase of his career as he joined a struggling Minnesota club.

Remember that Coyotes game where Dubnyk watched on the bench as Mike Smith allowed two goals as the Minnesota Wild shut out? Well, the winning goaltender in that game was Mr. Darcy Kuemper. Kuemper (who, like Dubnyk and Dustin Tokarski, hails from Saskatchewan) was the Wild'S #1 goaltender, and started the season off by posting back-to-back shutouts against the Colorado Avalanche. He only allowed two goals in his third game, and his fourth was the shutout against the Coyotes. He had a .980 SV% at the end of that game, and was looking unstoppable. (His backup, Niklas Backstrom, was 0-2 at that point after losing two 2-1 games). But that wasn't sustainable. Minnesota won 7/9 games in October, 7/14 games in November, and 4/12 games in December. They beat Toronto to start the new year, but then lost their next six straight. Wild coach infamous lost patience with his squad after a 4-3 overtime loss to San Jose where the Sharks kept retaking the lead after Minnesota came back to tie the game. It didn't help: the team kept losing, and on January 13th 2015 the Wild lost to the Pittsburg Penguins. Final score? 7-2. It was their sixth loss in eight games, and the second time in January where they had coughed up seven goals. Mike Yeo was the overwhelming consensus pick to be the next coach fired after Dallas Eakins in Edmonton and Randy Carlyle in Toronto, but Wild GM Chuck Fletcher had publicly given Yeo a vote a confidence following the dust-up. Something had to change, so just like a year earlier when fans in Edmonton called for blood and Dubnyk was gone, fans in the hockey heartland of Minnesota demanded change and Dubnyk was in. At the very least, it showed the Wild were trying, though it seemed hopeless. Minnesota was in 12th place in the Western Conference, and eight points out of the playoffs. Minnesota only gave up a third round pick in trade, but the message to the rest of the squad was clear: we're ready to start making changes, and you might be the next one. Devan Dubnyk didn't get a lot of time to prepare though, the very next night he was suited up in the green and white and though it was the dreadfully bad Buffalo Sabres if there's one thing his Nashville experience had shown it's that you don't get a lot of games to make your mark. Dubnyk fought off a moderate offensive rush early in the game and his team responded scoring two first period goals and three more in the second. By the time of the third period the game was essentially over, and despite only facing 18 shots from the abysmal Sabres team that probably couldn't have scored if Dubnyk had left halfway through the game to order a pizza, he earned the shutout and the win. This time it was Minnesota's turn to score seven goals in a game, and look forward to the next opponent. It was Dubnyk's old team, the Arizona Coyotes, and the first time that Dubnyk would play in front of the Minnesota crowd. He didn't disappoint them, allowing in only a single goal against as his new club beat his old club 3-1. Chants of "Doob" filled the arena after he was named the second star at the end of the game. For the first time since his glory days with Edmonton, Devan Dubnyk was being appreciated by the fans. He lost his next two games, and was pulled in favour of Darcy Kuemper in a 5-4 loss to Detroit. Was Dubnyk just a temporary boom? Did the Wild players who had responded to him over his first games already started regressing back to the form that led them to 12th in the West? Dubnyk was heading back to western Canada though, on a road trip that for the second time in the season featured him playing against his old team. He won that game, then shutout Calgary and beat Vancouver. Then he shutout the Blackhawks, shutout the Avalanche, and backstopped a stomping of Vancouver. Earlier we showed the Oilers goals-against line in October 2013. Here's the goals-against line for Minnesota from the Dubnyk trade until the end of February 2015:

A lot of differences between that line and October 2013! For what it's worth, Devan Dubnyk had changed too. He had learned a new "head tracking" method from Coyotes goalie coach Sean Burke (for comparison, after his 2014 Edmonton replacements made Dubnyk's 2013 numbers look good the Oilers fired their goaltending coach). He adjusted how he played in the crease. The technical why though wasn't what Minnesota fans were worried about though. Devan Dubnyk was keeping them in the playoff hunt, only giving up 4 or more goals once over twenty games. In February the NHL named him First Star, ahead of Carey Price and Alex Ovechkin. In March, Dubnyk was the third star behind Andrew "The Hamburglar" Hammond, another hot goalie leading his team to success. Dubnyk was the legitimate #1 starter again, with a career high number of wins and shutouts by the first of March.

That Detroit game, where he was pulled in a 5-4 overtime loss, is the only time the Minnesota Wild have allowed five or more goals since Dubnyk's arrival; before he arrived, it happened seven times. The same Wild team that was 12th place and 8 points out of a playoff berth with a 18-19-5 record (0.428 win percentage) ended the season in the Stanley Cup Finals, with a record of 46-28-8 (0.561 win %). Devan Dubnyk played 38 games in a row without getting a night off until the Wild's 81st game of the season on April 9th, 84 days after he was traded from Arizona. Dubnyk played his 39th game for the Minnesota Wild against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday April 11th, looking exhausted and being pulled for a second time after letting in three goals on only 14 shots. Wild coach Dave Tippet took some flack for playing Dubnyk at all: as both teams had clinched the playoffs and given several of their regular players the day off. By the time St. Louis won and the regular season was over, Devan Dubnyk had played for his new squad in 39 games, 2,293 minutes, faced 1,064 shots and stopped 996 of them. Along with his time in Arizona he had played 3,328 minutes and posted a .929 SV% (league average was .915). The previous season he only saw 1,802 minutes of play and posted a .891.

Tonight, Devan Dubnyk gets to experience something he's never before been able to experience: playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The 14th overall pick in 2004, he's spent every postseason on the outside looking in. That changes tonight from the unfriendly confines of the Scottrade Center, where an estimated 19,150 Blues fans are going to gather to hope they can watch a repeat of April 11th. It will be Dubnyk's third trip to that building this season (all with the Wild, Arizona only traveled to St. Louis after the trade), and the next few days and weeks will tell us what the future looks like for Devan Dubnyk.

Nathaniel Dubnyk will turn two years old in the offseason. Between then and now, his language skills will likely be growing to the level of transitioning from words to short sentences. He will likely also be potty trained, express a desire to do things on his own, and express a right-or-left handed preference. At the same time, his father will be experiencing in his professional career one of the sporting world's most mentally and physically grueling contests. Somewhere between 16 and 28 games are required to hoist the Stanley Cup, and in the playoffs goaltending is the difference between winners and losers. A goaltender that shines in the playoffs becomes a household name for years to come: just ask Roberto Luongo, Carey Price, Dwayne Roloson, Jonathon Quick, Mikka Kiprusoff, Tukka Rask, and Tim Thomas. Goaltenders that falter in the postseason become whispered in hushed tones: just ask Corey Crawford, Jimmy Howard, Marc-Andre Fluery, Jose Theodore, and Evgeni Nabokov.

Devan Dubnyk is riding high, and now considered the key to his team's postseason success and a dark horse candidate to go all the way and raise the Cup. If that does happen, Devan Dubnyk will be celebrating his son's second birthday as the league's success story. If not, he could find himself again struggling for respect in a league where goaltending is considered "voodoo". Either way, he'll be renegotiating a contract that will likely be far closer to his old $3.5M salary than his current $800,000 one. Over the next year nobody can predict what will happen.

But for Devan Dubnyk, it's hard to beat the year of hell.