With the head scratching, hit and miss free agent signings GM Steve Tambellini has made this off-season, such as defenseman Jim Vandermeer and right winger Ben Ondrus, it's not surprising that there comes one now that's a little bit of both.
According to TSN.ca, the Oilers announced yesterday that they have re-signed restricted free agent goaltender Devan Dubnyk to a two year contract worth $800,000 per season. This comes after the Regina native and former 14th overall pick for the Oilers in the 2004 entry draft saw his first NHL action last season, posting a 4-10-2 record with a 3.57 GAA and .889 Sv% in 19 games played with the Oilers. Which is great for the 24 year old; great until you read the fine print. It's a one-way contract.
This leads to speculation that last year's back-up goaltender, and subsequent starter, Jeff Drouins-Deslauriers, who played a majority of the Oilers games last season due to a season-ending back injury to starter Nikolai Khabibulin earlier in the season, could be on his way out of Oil Country.
Deslauriers, who is also a restricted free agent this summer, would no doubt require the same one-way contract he received on his last contract as Dubnyk just received on this one.
This development begs a few interesting questions. 1) Will the Oilers have another "three headed monster" situation on their hands again this season by re-signing Deslauriers as well? 2) Has 37 year old Khabibulin completely recovered from surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back last season? or 3) Are the Oilers waiting to see what happens with Khabibulin's DUI case in Arizona before making their final decision in goal?
Either way this goes, it once again will create an interesting goal tending dilemma in the Alberta Capital this season. And while goal tending depth is essential to any teams success or failure, with the unknown status of Khabibulin for this season, it is a good thing that the Oilers at least bought themselves a little insurance by re-signing Dubnyk.
Keep Kruzin' and thanks for reading.