NHL Free Agency 2012: Edmonton Oilers sign RFA's Devan Dubnyk and Jeff Petry
The Edmonton Oilers took my advice from a few weeks ago with a huge grain of salt and signed Devan Dubnyk to a 2 year - $3.5mm/yr contract, almost double the size of that signed by Josh Harding. Dubnyk’s contract is grossly overvalued in comparison to Harding, but looking at contracts that have been signed since, maybe it is not that bad in terms of the market place.
In terms of even strength SV% Dubnyk was right up there with Cory Schneider, and Tuukka Rask and seems to have been paid accordingly. His Pt% looks poor compared to the field but when looking at the difference between the team with him vs. without him it is pretty clearly not Dubnyk’s fault.
You will note that Schneider and Rask posted excellent PK SV% numbers, inflating their total SV% as compared to the rest of the field. Scott Reynolds of The Copper & Blue and Tyler Dellow of mc79hockey.com have done some nice work showing that penalty kill SV% tends to regress to the mean so it is not advisable for a contract to be based on a, PK SV% inflated, high Total SV%.
Other notes on the above goaltenders include:
- The Vancouver Canucks should think very carefully before getting rid of Luongo, especially considering Schneider’s track record is not long (68 NHL games)
- Boston better hope Rask is up to carrying the full load with Tim Thomas sitting the season out. He has never played more than 45 NHL games in a season
- Harding should fire his agent for letting him sign for so much lower than other goalies before July 1
- The Oilers in front of Dubnyk were a 23rd place team. The Oilers in front of Nikolai Khabibulin were almost as bad as Columbus in terms of Pt% (0.397 vs. 0.396)
- Every NHL’er should sign Ondrej Pavelec’s agent or threaten to bolt to Russia. The Winnipeg Jets have to make better moves than this signing if they hope to be any better than the last time Winnipeg had a team.
The Oilers also signed Jeff Petry to a 2 year contract worth $1.75mm per season. Petry looked good as part of the top pairing with Ladislav Smid after Tom Gilbert was traded for Nick Schultz. He is still young and has some room for improvement, but when a young guy steps in and leads the team with 21:45 minutes per game, then signs for cheap for a couple years, that has to be viewed as a positive.
Sam Gagner (RFA) filed for salary arbitration, and it will be interesting to see what happens with the oft-forgotten young gun (22 years old) that has put up 5 seasons of production right at the top of second liners level (40-50 points). Will the Oilers trade him like his buddy Andrew Cogliano who filed for arbitration last year, will he sign for fair value to his comparables (likely in the $3-$3.5mm range), or will he and the team have a bitter arbitration hearing that ends with one party feeling raw on the deal. Only time will tell.