Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin was blunt his assessment of the team's goaltending this season, stating he was "disappointed" in the play of Devan Dubnyk and Alex Stalock.
"No, the hierarchy's not clear," Guerin said Tuesday, per NHL.com. "Whoever's playing well is going to play. I was disappointed in the goaltending this year. Al had a tremendous year and Devan had an off year, and it needs to be better. That's just the way it is. And if I told you anything different, I'd be lying to you. It was not a strong point for us.
"Can those two turn it around for you next year? No, I can't say that. If we don't get the feeling that we're going to be better, then we're going to improve it."
Dubnyk, 34, had a 12-15-2 record during the regular season with a career-worst .890 save percentage and a 3.35 goals-against average. A three-time All-Star, Dubnyk is set to enter the final season of his current contract later this year and carries a $4.33 million cap hit.
Stalock posted a 20-11-4 record with a .910 save percentage and a 2.67 GAA. The 33-year-old started all four games during the team's play-in series against the Vancouver Canucks, finishing the series with a .897 save percentage and a 3.03 GAA. He is signed for another two seasons at a cap hit of just $785,000.
Rookie Kaapo Kahkonen made five starts during the regular season, going 3-1-1 with a .913 save percentage and a 2.96 goals-against average. Guerin noted that he expects the 23-year-old to push for a roster spot next season, but made no promises to keep the current group intact.
"If I have an opportunity to make it better, I will," Guerin said. "But I'm also confident if those guys come back that they're going to be battling for a spot and we've got Kaapo Kahkonen pushing. It just has to be better … flat out. So I can't promise anybody a spot. ... Next year is next year and we're going to be better."
The Wild finished the regular season 10th in the Western Conference and, with their qualifying round loss, missed the playoffs for the second straight season.