Devan Dubnyk is back in professional hockey.
The AHL's Charlotte Checkers announced on Tuesday afternoon that the club has signed the former All-Star netminder to a professional tryout offer, marking Dubnyk's first stint back in the American League since 2014.
Dubnyk, who is a few months out from his 36th birthday, began this season without a team after splitting 2021 between the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche, posting less-than-stellar results that ultimately left him floating in free agency.
It hasn't been an easy ride for Dubnyk these past few years. The last time the 2014 Vezina nominee posted a save percentage above .900 came in 2018-19, with Dubnyk bottoming out at a .886 in five appearances with the Avalanche as an injury replacement last season.
Now, he's set to join what is a crowded crease.
The Checkers are in an odd position for an AHL affiliate, with their roster split between the Seattle Kraken and Florida Panthers as the expansion Kraken finalizes their affiliate in Palm Springs. The Checkers currently have AHL veterans Antoine Bibeau and Chris Gibson on the roster, with Joey Daccord likely to return to the team when Kraken Chris Driedger returns from the IR.
Dubnyk is likely an insurance policy for the club during a tough stretch of the season. And, with Dubnyk slated to be the starting goaltender for Canada at the Spengler Cup later this month, this could be simply a chance for him to get games against professional opponents before heading overseas.
Of note, if the NHL were to opt-out of its participation in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Dubnyk would be in consideration to become the starting goaltender for Canada at the Games.