In a very out of nowhere move, as Poile is actually quite good at doing, the Predators have dealt newly acquired Matt Hendricks to the winter wonderland of Edmonton in exchange for a narrowly slightly better goaltender than the two back ups we are currently rotating.
In what appears to be a straight swap (IE no conditional picks, no retained salary) the Predators have done away with the bold four year contract that Hendricks signed this summer. Hendricks plays on the fourth line and has just not looked effective anywhere other than the PK where he and Nystrom have been great.
1. Dubnyk is making 3.75 million this year, in the last year of his contract. He is a UFA this summer which means Nashville isn't obliged to keep him if they are confident in Rinne's health + Mazanec and/or another backup.
2. Hendricks would have tied up 1.85 million until 2017. He has 4 points in 44 games and has taken more unnecessary minors than you can shake a stick at.
3. With career stats of a .910 sv % and less than .900 in 32 games last year, Dubnyk is just another band-aid on our goaltending problem. But he will likely be better than Hutton… and it's not like the Oilers were giving him amazing defense during those stats last season.
4. Losing Hendricks also helps us with our log jam down the middle. The Preds could call up Forsberg, but might opt to dress Clune a little bit more as he plays a more similar role.
5. This is a fairly good trade for the Oilers as well. Having just signed Bryzgalov, Edmonton could somewhat afford to lose a mediocre goalie in a trade. They also needed some size down the middle to provide a bit of robustness amongst all of their rookies.
6. Don't believe that either side is done dealing yet. Oilers could go out looking for a goalie and have a couple players that they would be more willing to part ways with now that Hendricks is in the mix. Nashville will also likely stay busy between now and the trade deadline as they try to set themselves up for the draft and next year.
7. If this is supposed to be anything more than a salary dump, then you have to argue that this move is way too late. If the Preds are still trying to make the playoffs then they are a bit too far behind the eight ball. This move is likely given the news of Rinne's progress… but really it's something Poile should have (and maybe did) look at towards the start of Rinne's injury, when the post season was more plausible.