The Weekday Ramble is a daily dose of sports, music, culture, and more from Rambling On founder Erik Ritland. For more information check us out on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, or at our website.
Monday June 29, 2015
A big contract for an unproven goalie, an unproven baseball team.
Did Doug Risebrough come back or something?
Saturday the Minnesota Wild announced that they had signed goaltender Devan Dubnyk to a six year, $26 million contract. It was the end of a prolonged period of negotiations that left the fan base wondering whether the deal would get done or not – not to mention whether Dubnyk actually wanted to be here.
Word from the negotiations was that he was asking for an eight year contract worth around $6 a year. Eight years? $6 million a year? Certainly a bit much for a goaltender who, going into 2014, wasn’t even sure if he’d be in the league in 2016. Considering that he only performed well for one half of a season his entire career I thought the prospect was ridiculous. I hoped they’d look elsewhere if they couldn’t talk him down to three years at around $4 million a year. There are other goalies out there that the team could get, some of them are more proven than Dubnyk.
What’s done is done, though. At a time when the Wild are trying hard to get Niklas Backstrom’s ill-advised contract off the books I don’t quite understand the magnitude of the Dubnyk deal. Alas, perhaps there’s a reason why Chuck Fletcher is an NHL GM and I am not. I just hope that this somewhat hasty move doesn’t hurt the team in the future.
After hearing a few things, specifically an explanation of the contract by Wild super fan, KFAN's Jolly Green Giant Brandon Mileski, I pretty much no longer have this opinion. Sure, six years is still a bit much considering how short of a time he's proven himself, but it's front loaded. So if after a year or two he gets really bad it'll be easy for the team to buy out his contract. And even on the books the next couple years he's still not one of the top paid goalies in the NHL.
So yeah, I guess it all goes back to the fact that Fletcher is the GM and I'm not. Well done, boys.
All good things
Most Twins analysts knew that their triumphant month of May, in which the team won more games than they had in any month since they won the World Series in 1991, wouldn’t last all season. Their shaky starting rotation was nearly perfect, their well below-average bullpen was somehow excelling, and their questionable lineup was hitting for clutch and power. With so many question marks across the board most knew the wheels would eventually fall off.
Fortunately that hasn’t happened drastically. The starting rotation, while not quite as good, is still exceeding expectations. The problems are with the bullpen, which has been showing its true colors, and the lineup, where many who were doing well have fallen off. In essence they have regressed to the mean. Sure, if they hit a hot streak they could get a Wild Card spot, but unless they make a move for a power bat, a couple of bullpen pieces, and a high-end starting pitcher I don’t see them getting much further than that.
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. His blog and podcast Rambling On features commentary on music, sports, culture, and more. He was also Lead Staff Writer for Minnesota culture blog Curious North. Support Erik's music via his Patreon account, reach him via email, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.