Has there ever been such an absurd real-life case where two goaltenders came in basically out of nowhere (at least in Hammond’s case) and single-handedley saved a season – though Ottawa still is a long shot to make the playoffs? Yes, but this has been a nice story in both spots.
Last week we explored what we should give Devan Dubnyk for being the NHL’s equivalent of an NBA Jam ‘on fire’ player.
Hammond probably won’t get much beyond the hamburger tossed his way Sunday night as far as awards. But really what they both need are contract extensions.
But how and when will this happen for both saviors?
From Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun tweeted Monday, on the Sens that they had no contract talks scheduled with Hammond and wait until the end of the year
From a management perspective, this is a solid idea.
Option A. Keep him on a string. Keep him playing for that deal. Then reward the pride of White Rock, British Columbia after the season. Besides, this guy had very mediocre numbers in the American Hockey League this year before his 1.39 goals against average and .955 save percentage in 12 games run with the Sens. Then trade Robin Lehner -- who is under contract through 2017-18 per NHL Numbers and keep Hammond for lesser money.
Option B. Trade Hammond in the offseason to a team that overvalues him and keep Lehner.
It's an all-win situation for the Senators.
As for Dubnyk, it’s a bit trickier. This guy could come in second in Vezina voting behind Carey Price and may even have a bunch of Hart Trophy love, since he has rescued Minnesota’s season. From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune after Dubnyk’s 27th straight start – a win over the Blues
Dubnyk said it’s especially grueling for him because the way he has improved, it’s all about finding pucks, which he said is hard work because he keeps low and moves around constantly and works hard to see through legs.
But man, he looked cool and calm all night tonight.
“I think he's got a different team in front of him right now,” Backes said. “They're doing a good job blocking shots, keeping pucks more to the outside, and if he's seeing it, he's stopping it. Their record reflects how well he's playing and how well they're playing in front of him.”
In the Central Division, name a team you don’t want to play more in the postseason than Minnesota? Regardless of the fact that Dubnyk has been ridden like Zorro since his arrival with the Wild, the team is 20-5-1 with him in front of it. He has a 1.66 goals against average and .939 save percentage.
He’s on a one-year deal worth $800,000.
Last season he had a sub-.900 save percentage between both the Oilers and the Predators. But in his career, he hasn’t been awful playing behind the putrid Oil, never posting a save percentage lower than .914 beyond his first year. He’s going to get way more than his last deal, which paid him $3.75 million per.
As the Star-Tribune's Mike Russo writes: “Dubnyk, rock star.”
Again, the guy deserves a mega deal of some sort. But what will he get? The Wild can’t make the mistake the Coyotes did with Mike Smith, giving him a six-year contract at age 31 and watch him decline in dog years after limited longevityof productivity in the NHL. Three years perhaps? Dubnyk will be a UFA but shouldn’t test the open market – wouldn’t you want Ryan Suter and Jonas Brodin playing in front of you for the next several years?
If he won’t win a major award, at least take care of him.
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