Next week will be pretty nuts. Not only does the 2020 NHL Entry Draft kick off on Tuesday, but the free agency period begins just two days later. You know what that means? Zesty moves by Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin (also known as Shooter McGuerin) are on the way!
While nothing is imminent, it appears Guerin is already working the phones.
As Michael Russo of The Athletic reported on Thursday, the Wild and San Jose Sharks have been discussing a trade involving veteran goaltender Devan Dubnyk and forward Ryan Donato. Friday night, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported those trade talks have been “picking up steam.”
Per @RussoHockey, Ryan Donato was discussed in this one, too.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 3, 2020
It’s no surprise that Dubnyk and Donato could be on their way out of Minnesota. Donato hasn’t earned the trust of his coaches, and despite leading the Wild with 14 goals at 5-on-5 during the regular season, he was a healthy scratch for half of the Wild’s play-in series against the Vancouver Canucks.
Things are a little more complicated for Dubnyk, however. The 34-year-old goalie has regressed significantly the last two seasons, but his 2019-20 campaign was downright horrendous. He ranked toward the bottom of the league in goals against average (3.35) and save percentage (.890) and ultimately wound up relinquishing the starting job to Alex Stalock down the stretch.
As reported by Russo, though, Dubnyk is happy in Minnesota and has a modified no-trade clause in his contract. It’s possible Dubnyk could have San Jose on his list of teams he would not accept a trade to, and if that ends up being the case, this whole thing could fall apart in the blink of an eye.
If a trade does take place, a change of scenery could be good for Dubnyk as he looks to revive his career. Sharks netminder Martin Jones also underwhelmed in 2019-20, so there’s at least a slight possibility Dubnyk could earn a decent amount of starts in San Jose.
A whole lot of rumors will be swirling for next week or so, and it’s very likely Dubnyk and Donato will be involved in a lot of them.
UPDATE: According to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, the Sharks are not included on Dubnyk’s 10-team 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
Still no guarantee the trade happens, but it sure sounds like everything is slowly coming together.