Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dubinsky, Rangers agree on new four-year deal

Sometimes, wishes do come true. On what's turned into a bittersweet day with the departure of legendary Devils' broadcaster Mike "Doc" Emrick, at least the Rangers and Brandon Dubinsky brought some happier news to one side of the Hudson rivalry- reaching agreement on a new four-year deal worth $16.8 million, avoiding arbitration today.

I wanted to be in New York, it’s the place I live, it’s the place I love and I want to be here forever,” an excited Dubinsky expressed to NY Post's own Larry Brooks. “At the end of the day, I think it’s a home run for me. I hope the team feels the same way.”

Perhaps it was because one of Dubinsky's biggest fans via Twitter @sarahhlokk actually wore his jersey to bed last night, braving the crazy heatwave we're getting that's close to the century mark. While that's about as loyal a fan as you can find, it sounds like logic prevailed between the two sides with Dubinsky's agent Kurt Overhardt and new assistant GM Jeff Gorton able to work it out before the doomsday scenario of a crazy divide that reportedly had Dubinsky coming in at $4.6 million while the Rangers were expected to counter with $2.8 million.

As it turned out, Dubinsky kept his word after stating he wanted the Rangers following our first round exit. Instead of letting a $500,000 difference come in the path of getting a long-term contract done, both sides came together to hammer out a logical four-year deal that keeps our '10-11 leading scorer on Broadway through '14-15. Even better, the average cap hit is better than expected at $4.2 million. Remember, I projected the number in the neighborhood of $4.75 M. In the first two years, he'll be paid $3.75 million with the annual salary increasing to $4.65 million for the final two seasons. Essentially, they split the difference, making the 25 year-old Alaskan a rich man. He posted career bests last season with 24 goals, 30 assists and a team-leading 54 points. Now, Dubinsky will be expected to increase production with our '04 second round steal capable of 30 goals and between 65-70 points. He definitely feels ready for the challenge. 

I can’t even tell you how much I’m looking forward to the season,” Dubinsky said. “With all the guys we have coming back plus the signings we’ve made with Richie [Brad Richards] and Mike Rupp, I think we’re going to be a contender in the East; I really feel that way.

I have high expectations for myself and for the team. The last couple of years we’ve talked about being contenders. Now I truly believe we have the team to do it, not just talk about it.”

With Dubinsky locked up, that leaves one more core player for Glen Sather to get done in likely captain Ryan Callahan, whose arbitration date is set for next Friday, July 30. Figure Slats and Callahan to come up with a similar conclusion, allowing Garden Faithful to breathe easier and look forward to the upcoming season.

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