LAS VEGAS -- After a season in which he was good enough to become a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, goalie Devan Dubnyk doesn't want much to change. Dubnyk said Tuesday he wants to stay with the Minnesota Wild and is hopeful of signing a new contract before he can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
"I want to be there and hopefully they want to have me there," Dubnyk said from the MGM Grand Garden Arena, where the 2015 NHL Awards show will take place Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN). "Nothing has changed that way, so we'll continue to go forward. It's still where I would like to be and get something done. It's been a busy time and over the next week here we'll try to get something going. We're still trying to get something done."
Dubnyk joins Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators as the Vezina Trophy finalists this year. He is also up for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy along with Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang and Ottawa Senators goalie Andrew Hammond.
The Wild acquired Dubnyk on Jan. 14, when they were eight points out of a Stanley Cup Playoff spot. He helped them become the first wild card in the playoffs from the Western Conference by going 27-9-2 with a 1.78 goals-against average, .936 save percentage and five shutouts.
Now Dubnyk is hoping to get a contract to secure his future, which was in doubt at this time last year following a season in which he was traded twice and finished in the American Hockey League.
Dubnyk said he spoke with Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher on Tuesday, but no terms were discussed. He said his agent, Mike Liut, is expected to meet with Fletcher in Florida prior to the 2015 NHL Draft, which opens Friday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).
"That earning window is small and sometimes there are opportunities, and they can go away on you," Dubnyk said. "I almost had it go away completely last year. You have to understand that's an important part of it and that's part of your life as well, but you weigh both sides and understand that in a good situation, as long as it's fair, and it has to be fair, you're going to do everything you can to make sure it happens."
Dubnyk said a big reason why he hasn't signed with the Wild yet is because the Wild are tight up against the salary cap and are trying to make it work.
The NHL announced Tuesday that the salary cap figure for the 2015-16 season will be $71.4 million, up from $69 million this past season. The Wild have approximately $10 million in cap room with 16 players signed, including goalies Niklas Backstrom and Darcy Kuemper, according to NHLNumbers.com.
Fletcher told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he wants to have two goalies on the NHL roster, with the hope that it's Dubnyk and Kuemper.
The Wild put forward Matt Cooke on waivers last week with the purpose of buying him out to save $2 million on the cap that would likely go to Dubnyk.
"Our focus right now is trying to get a deal done with Devan," Fletcher told the Star-Tribune. "Our top preference is to keep him here. We'd love to stabilize that position, and we're confident he's the guy that can do that for us."
Goalie - MIN
GAA: 2.07 | SVP: .929
Dubnyk has the ability through the Collective Bargaining Agreement to begin negotiating contract terms with other teams starting on Thursday, but he said he doesn't view that as a deadline to get something done with the Wild.
He wouldn't be able to sign with a team other than the Wild until noon ET on July 1.
"We're not looking at something needs to be done by Thursday or drastic things are going to happen," Dubnyk said. "This is kind of the way it needed to proceed with the way the salary cap is. You kind of needed to wait it out a bit. I don't think, in my eyes anyway, Thursday is really anything. Chuck is going to meet with my agent and we're going to continue to work to get something done."