Wednesday January 14th, 2015

It looks like Chuck Fletcher believes in Mike Yeo.

Instead of firing his beleaguered coach in the wake of a demoralizing 7-2 loss in Pittsburgh Tuesday night, Minnesota's GM chose to shore up the team's woeful goaltending by acquiring veteran backup Devan Dubnyk from the Arizona Coyotes.

According to TSN's Darren Dreger, the Coyotes will receive a third-round pick in return.

Dubnyk posted a 9-5-2 record with a 2.72 GAA and .916 save percentage in 19 games with Arizona this season, outperforming the team's No. 1 keeper Mike Smith. But with Smith signed to a long-term deal, and the playoffs essentially out of reach, it made good sense for Coyotes GM Don Maloney to cash in his chips and acquire a future asset.

He comes to Minnesota as a quick fix, but with every opportunity to seize the top job. Darcy Kuemper is currently out with a lower-body injury but even at full health he's become a dicey proposition, posting a save percentage below .865 in five of his past 10 appearances. Veteran Niklas Backstrom has been even worse, failing to register a save percentage above .900 in any of his past 10 games.

Dubnyk then looks like a clear upgrade, which is all that Yeo can ask for. A save or two at key moments could have steered the Wild clear of the six-game losing streak it currently is mired in. If Dubnyk can chip in a few of those moving forward, Minnesota might yet salvage some pride...and Yeo might even survive the season.

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