Two seasons ago it looked like Dumba had turned the corner offensively after scoring 14 goals and 36 assists in every game. He was set to beat those numbers in 2018-19 with 12 goals and 10 assists in just 32 games before suffering a broken pectoral muscle in a fight that prematurely ended his season. The good news this season is that Dumba was able to play in all 69 games before the pandemic hit, but the bad news is that he only managed six goals and 24 points, numbers well below his expectations.
Nonetheless, there should still be a significant market for the most recent King Clancy Trophy winner. He is signed through 2022-23 at a price tag of $ 6million, a manageable rate for someone who has logged at least 10:30 p.m. per game in each of the past three seasons and his past attacking prowess. On top of that, the fact that he’s a right-handed player (who is often in high demand and in short supply) should help Minnesota receive a strong return for him if he ends up on the move.
Guerin made no secret of the fact that the Wilds badly need an impact player in the middle. Even with the recent acquisition of Nick Bjugstad, their depth at the center is shallow. Veteran Eric Staal enters the last year of his contract as an auditor Joel Eriksson Ek while Victor Rask, candidate for speculative takeover, still has two years. There isn’t a lot of help in free agency, so if they are planning to make an impact addition there, it will have to come through the trade market.
Dumba seems like a perfect candidate to use to fill this spot. While centers of impact are difficult to acquire, the top four right-wing defenders are also difficult with several years of control at a reasonable pace, so there are bound to be some noticeable pivots made available to try to secure Dumba’s services.
It’s also worth noting that Dumba is now the only one of Minnesota’s main four in the background without any sort of active trade protection. He has a 10-team no-trade clause that is expected to go into effect for 2021-2022, but for now he can be moved anywhere without his approval.
And, of course, there’s also the Seattle expansion plan to keep in mind. The most common protection is seven forwards, three defenders and a goalie. If they followed this pattern, Dumba would not be protected by default as Suter, Spurgeon, and Brodin all have no-move clauses. While it is possible to protect more than three defenders from opponents by going to eight skaters and a goalie, it would mean they would risk losing a better striker to the Kraken. Moving Dumba now would alleviate this future worry.
During his call to the press today to discuss the Brodin deal, Guerin said they didn’t have to move a defender and that he was happy with his squad as it is currently being built. But even with Dumba coming out of a calmer season by his standards, his commercial value should still be quite strong. With that in mind and today’s Brodin deal, it certainly wouldn’t be surprising to see Dumba on the move in the weeks to come.
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