So the silence has been broken and Wade Dubielewicz has come out to say like many other players heading towards free agency, that Long Island is his home, he wants to stay and remain an Islander, and is happy playing for them.
But when did he actually play? DP started 33 of the first 35 games of the regular season to see Dubie shellacked in an 8-1 loss to Toronto in his first game of the year. After that DP started 26 of the next 28 games before missing time to mourn the loss of his grandmother.
You sure you wanna stay Dubie? Let's consider that he is only getting playing time as of late because Ricky is sidelined until training camp next year. In the last five games he has picked up three wins, only let up one goal in two of them, and amassed a .900 save % or higher in four of those games, all with a young depleted defense.
So why did we sit this guy all year long for him to be embarrassed when he finally would get the nod in goal?
There really is no answer besides the fact that Ricky is a hungry competitor who always wants to play, and as Ted Nolan recently revealed "calls the shots" in regards to his playing time.
Although Ricky's recent injury to his hip (for the second year in a row) has pulled the chord on the light bulb of common sense igniting the realization that Ricky can't play all 82 games, you have to wonder if Dubie feels blackballed. Sure, he said he wants to stay, but how often do you hear an impending free agent say I want out? I remember Adrian Aucoin and Jason Blake call Long Island their home and leave to sign extensive and heavy contracts with new teams. What happened to Poti, Asham, Kozlov, and every other player that was on last year's team?
Professional players will always say that they want to stay. Think of it as if this is you, the reader. You're ready to inform your current boss of your two weeks notice since you've now found a new job. Did you announce a month prior to finding this new job that you wanted to leave? That you weren't happy and looking for a change? Of course not! You would've been fired in a second with someone who is younger and cheaper to do the same job you had done.
The same could be said for Dubie. The only reason why I think he might stay is because of the fact he's fairly small in height - something that won't appeal to most GM's. Besides the end of last year and a tad bit of this year, he's been a third string goaltender his whole career. He was only awarded the back-up position this year and barely got to play. Even though it seems it was Ricky's overbearing competitive attitude, as a GM, wouldn't you see a lack of confidence in the coaching staff that they would risk burning out their franchise goaltender instead of playing the so-called "capable" back-up?
I'm sure Dubie is aware of this because he mentioned it in Newsday, stating that most GM's would probably require him to prove himself all over again since they would be unfamiliar with his confident play. Therefore Dubie might have to swallow his pride and take what he can get with the Isles, and I hope he does because the guy can play and deserves much more playing time next year.
Nolan seems to be indicating that next year he or whoever the back-up goalie will be getting their fair share - and they definitely should.
But only time will tell.