Mathew Dumba's development has been an underlying topic throughout the year. Minnesota's 2012 first round pick (7th overall) has burned through his nine NHL games yet hasn't played much recently. There is the upcoming World Juniors, which Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has stated he will be loaned out for, but for the most part Dumba finds himself in a middle of a development dilemma.
While the AHL is not an option and the only alternative besides playing with the Wild is a fourth season for Dumba in the WHL, the memories of past development mistakes is too soon.
(Having James Sheppard in town Sunday with San Jose didn't help - even before the 2006 first round pick speared Charlie Coyle umm..."downtown.")
Now there may be a different option for Dumba after the World Juniors tournament ends in January. The 19 year-old defenseman's WHL rights were traded Tuesday from Red Deer to perennial contender Portland. The Rebels receive Presten Kopeck and conditional draft picks in the WHL Bantam Draft.
Although the option to return Dumba to the Dub has always been there (or as Dan wrote back in October he's getting a chance to learn how to be a professional with the Wild), the chance to play with the WHL Western Conference-leading Winterhawks hasn't. From Big Drive Sports in Red Deer:
While it has become quite clear that the Minnesota Wild have no interest in sending Dumba back to play for an on-the-fringe playoff contender (if they ever had any to begin with), the chance to send him out west to play for a league championship and Memorial Cup contender may be a much more enticing possibility. It is clearly a possibility that both Rebels GM / Head Coach Brent Sutter and Winterhawks GM / Head Coach Mike Johnston are banking on.Maybe it's also an indication the Wild are going to move on for the year.
As of right now, the deal has no negative impact for the Rebels simply because Dumba is not playing here. It certainly looks like this deal guarantees that there will be a positive impact at some point.
In the meantime, it was time for the Rebels to move on.
“I gave it to December 1st,” Sutter tells Cam Moon in an interview that will air during tonight’s Rebels/Hurricanes broadcast on 106.7 The Drive. “I had a deadline on for myself and this team that if Mathew wasn’t returned [from Minnesota] to our organization that I seriously had to look at another avenue to be able to acquire some assets and perhaps a quality player.”
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