Photo credit:© Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Should the Calgary Flames sign Dillon Dube to a long term contract this summer?
8 months ago
Last week, Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet 960 started a fascinating debate that caught the attention of Calgary Flames fans across social media. It was about what to do with Dillon Dube.
Pat brought up the idea of signing Dube to a long-term contact extension this summer.
Read Pat’s article here.
It’s an interesting conversation that sparked a lot of discussion. So, I thought it would be fun to break down the pros and cons to signing Dube to a long-term extension this summer.
Pros to signing Dube long term
Signing young players to long term extensions usually works out
The idea of signing young players in your organization who have upside is usually a great idea. Just look at the value the Flames were able to get out of the contracts of Dougie Hamilton, Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin, and Rasmus Andersson.
The idea of these deals was to overspend on the first couple years of the contract and then get a surplus of value in the back half of the deal.
You could make an argument that the Flames should have done that with Andrew Mangiapane a few years ago. They should have done it with Matthew Tkachuk. Should they do the same with Dube? Will they regret not doing it in a few years if they decide to wait on signing him?
Dube keeps improving
Dube has been on a steady incline when it comes to his development as a hockey player.
Take a look at his increase in points per game year over year with the Flames.
His play making in particular took a big step forward last season due in part to getting an opportunity to play in the top six on a line with Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli as well as Andrew Mangiapane and Nazem Kadri early on in his season.
He has all the tools to become a good player
There is no denying that Dube has the physical tools to be a 50–60-point player in the NHL. He is the Flames best skating forward. He has a high end shot especially coming down the wing. And he is a physical player despite being a smaller guy.
Those are the types of people NHL teams should be betting on.
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Cons to signing long term
Do we know what Dube is at the NHL level?
That is the question I would pose to Flames fans. What is Dube? Is he a potential first line winger? Does he max out as a 20-goal scorer on a second line? Is he best suited as a bottom six checker?
We might need another season to see what exactly Dube can do as a forward in the NHL. Let’s see how he plays under a new head coach in Ryan Huska. I just don’t think we can definitively say that Dube is a future top 6 winger worthy of a $5+ million AAV on his next contract.
There is also the fact that Dube has not put-up great numbers from an analytics perspective compared to his teammates the last couple seasons.
Dube might be the most inconsistent player on the Flames. He goes through stretches where he’ll be one of the teams best players scoring at a point per game clip for 15 games. And then he’ll go ice cold over his next 15 games.
We need to see more consistency out of Dube before committing an expensive, long-term contract on him.
Flames have depth at left wing
The Flames already have some good players who play left wing. They have Jonathan Huberdeau locked up for another 8 years on an unmovable contract.
Andrew Mangiapane has become a fan favorite and one of the most productive players on the team.
Jakob Pelletier is set to take a roster spot next season and beyond as a left winger.
And then you have Dube. Where does he fit in with that group moving forward? I know that he has played some center before, but he is definitely a better left winger than a center.
The 2018 Hockey Canada Investigation
The Flames are going to want to see the results of the investigation by the NHL into the 2018 World Junior sexual assault case before committing a long-term extension to Dube.
Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli recently mentioned when talking about Carter Hart as a trade target that there are teams leery of any player connected to that case, especially with the NHL’s investigation that is set to wrap up later this summer.
My two cents
I think the Flames should let Dube play out the final year of his contract before committing long-term to him. They need another season to see what exactly he is and how he fits with this roster, especially considering the depth at left wing.
Let’s see if Dube continues to progress, or if he has hit his ceiling with this organization.
Do you want to see Craig Conroy and the Flames sign Dube to a long-term contract extension this summer? Let us know in the comments section!
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