It’s been rumoured for a few days, but Devan Dubnyk to SJ is picking up steam.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 3, 2020
Per Friedman and Michael Russo, Ryan Donato may also be sent to the San Jose Sharks.
However, it might take some time for the train to arrive at the station. For starters, Devan Dubnyk has a 10-team no-trade list and his wife dealt with serious health issues during the season.
But there’s reason to believe this trade will happen. According to Pierre LeBrun, the Sharks have identified Dubnyk as their “top goalie target” this summer. He also clarified that San Jose is not on Dubnyk’s no-trade list.
San Jose is not on Devan Dubnyk's 10-team No-trade list (10 teams he can't be traded to). So the Wild are free and clear to deal him to San Jose if they wish. But I do think San Jose wants to make sure Dubnyk is comfortable with the move before both teams take it further.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 3, 2020
In short, there’s a will and there’s a way. The ball appears to be in Dubnyk’s court.
So who will the San Jose Sharks ship to Minnesota? On Thursday, Michael Russo said his feeling was the “return could be a high draft pick or a prospect.” Doug Wilson came out the next day and said he “would prefer not” to trade 2020 Draft picks for a goaltender:
Our Sheng Peng offered some trade candidates and added more context, including a full scouting report on Donato, as part of SJHN+. The NHL scout that Sheng spoke with wasn’t entirely complimentary of Donato:
This season, Dubnyk, 34, fell out of favor in Minnesota. He slumped to an abysmal .890 save percentage. It was Dubnyk’s sixth season in Minnesota and appears to be his last. After the season, Minnesota GM Bill Guerin bluntly told reporters he wanted more.
“I was disappointed in the goaltending this year. (Alex Stalock) had a tremendous year, and Devan had an off year. It needs to be better. That’s just the way it is. If I told you anything different, I’d be lying to you,” Guerin said on August 11th, after the Vancouver Canucks dismissed Minnesota from the NHL postseason in four games.
Dubnyk has one more season with a $4.33 million cap hit left on his six-year contract.
Through his 11-year NHL career, Dubnyk has an impressive .915 save percentage and a 247-195-52 record. The 6-foot-6 goalie has escaped the first round of the playoffs only once in his career, however, in 2014-15.
He did garner Hart Trophy votes (fourth) in 2014-15. That season, Minnesota acquired Dubnyk from Arizona and he posted a .937 save percentage and a jaw-dropping 1.78 goals against average. He also finished third in Vezina Trophy voting.
Dubnyk again finished fifth in Vezina Trophy voting in 2016-17, but he hasn’t received a Vezina vote or an All-Star nomination since.
Last season, former Wild GM Paul Fenton acquired Donato as part of the Charlie Coyle-to-Boston deal. This year, Donato had 23 points (14g, 9a) in 63 games. He’s not the smoothest skater, nor has he capitalized on his offensive potential.
Donato, 24, has played only 130 NHL games.
If majority opinion is reflected in the responses to Friedman’s original tweet, fans around the league think Minnesota is adding by subtracting.
However, the San Jose Sharks do have a need in goal. This season, starter Martin Jones continued his prolonged slump; he’s posted .896 save percentages in each of the past two seasons.
Dubnyk could be a key member of a re-imagined San Jose Sharks. Wilson believes the team’s struggles will be short-lived as Erik Karlsson returns to full health.
Agent on UFA Gridlock, Gambrell & Kellman on Jumbo’s Departure
The free agency gridlock is real — and according to an agent, there’s no end in the sight.
It’s not just the money being handed out, or lack thereof, it’s also the rush, or lack thereof, to sign guys.
To illustrate, 19 days into free agency, six of TSN’s final top-20 free agents are still on the board: Mike Hoffman, Erik Haula, Corey Perry, Mikael Granlund, Anthony Duclair, and Sami Vatanen.
Last summer, just two of TSN’s top-20 were available after 12 days of free agency: Ben Hutton and Jake Gardiner.
“The length of time until the season starts is probably affecting [this off-season’s free agents],” an agent told San Jose Hockey Now. “There’s not much rush right now since who knows when NHL camps even open?”
This is on top of revenue concerns that every organization is facing.
So the teams are in no rush to commit — and in some cases, the players aren’t either.
This particular agent agreed that players might see better offers once there’s more certainty with when the 2020-21 season will begin.
So while we know there are multiple teams in on the likes of Hoffman, Haula, and Conor Sheary, it might be a while yet before all these dominos fall.
No Conor Sheary Update
Speaking of Sheary, San Jose Hockey Now broke last week that the San Jose Sharks were talking to his camp.
At the moment, however, SJHN doesn’t have an additional Sheary update.
That’s no surprise. It is, after all, an unusually stagnant market.
Gambrell, Kellman on Thornton
A week and a half ago, when Joe Thornton left the San Jose Sharks for Toronto, San Jose Hockey Now reached out to a few Sharks to ask them about Jumbo’s departure.
Kevin Labanc was quick to reply; over the last week, a couple more Sharks have responded.
Dylan Gambrell texted: “Huge loss, big presence, and has been such a key piece for the Sharks for a very long time. Someone I looked up to very much and learned a ton from.
“I wish him nothing but the best and you can ask just about anyone how much he’ll be missed. With that said, it’s up to us as a team to step up and make up for that presence going forward and I know we have the guys in the locker room to do that.”
Gambrell, who the San Jose Sharks hope can step up to help fill Thornton’s void on the ice, has spent most of the last half-year in Denver. The 24-year-old forward plans to be in San Jose in about a week, to join the likes of Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, and Labanc, who have been skating together.
Meanwhile, over 5,000 miles away, Joel Kellman won’t be back soon — he’s playing for Allsvenskan’s Kristianstads IK right now.
Kellman messaged SJHN about the San Jose Sharks legend: “I was so happy I got to play with him for a couple months! He was just a true professional, always working hard on and off the ice. That’s why he’s been good for so many years.”
Meeting Mr. Robins
Erik and JD look into the second of the San Jose Sharks’ two second-round draft picks, Tristen Robbins. We review his statistical profile and where he lands on some draft models. Then, we look at his tape to determine his strengths and weaknesses (8:00) as well as why his numbers exploded over the second half of the season. We finish by looking at his timeline for making the NHL (18:00). Check out the podcast on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Keep up with all things San Jose Sharks here: