Dumba signs a 1-year, $3.9 million deal with Coyotes at Bjugstad’s urging

Published 8:20 am Tuesday, August 8, 2023

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Give Nick Bjugstad a big assist on Matt Dumba’s arrival in the desert.

Giving in to the pressure from his former Minnesota teammate and seeing what Arizona is building, Dumba signed a one-year, $3.9 million deal with the Coyotes on Monday.

“Bjugy was texting me every other day and he caught me, put the clamps on me at one of the weddings we were at a couple of weeks ago, too,” said Dumba, who lives and trains in Arizona during the offseason. “He was always dropping it in my ear and it was awesome to see guys really enjoy Arizona, the coaching staff, the style of play that they’re growing into.”

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Dumba played 10 seasons with Minnesota after the Wild selected him with the seventh overall pick in the 2012 NHL draft. He served as an alternate captain for the Wild the past two seasons, playing more of a shutdown role after being one of the NHL’s better two-way defensemen.

The 29-year-old had a 50-point season while playing all 82 games in 2017-18 and has scored 20 points at least seven times. The Saskatchewan native had four goals and 14 assists in 79 games last season.

“He is a talented, reliable, physical defenseman who competes hard every night and will contribute offensively,” Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong said in a statement. “He is also a great leader who will add a veteran presence to our blue line. We are very excited to have him on our team this season.”

Dumba should give the Coyotes a huge boost on the blue line and provide veteran leadership on a young team. He won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2019-20, an award given to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.

Dumba will likely fill a top-four spot on a Coyotes blue line that will also include Sean Durzi, acquired from the Los Angeles Kings in an offseason trade for a 2024 second-round draft pick. Arizona also added Alex Kerfoot, former Wild player Jason Zucker and brought back Bjugstad as the franchise rounds into the third year of a rebuilding project.

“Playing against them last year, I thought they played tremendously hard, played free, saw a lot of good things,” Dumba said. “I’m very excited to join this squad.”