Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rumor: Dubinsky Seeking Over $5 Million Per Season?

The conflicting reports about the contract situation between Brandon Dubinsky and the New York Rangers continued this morning when Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported that the issue was money and not the number of years on the deal.
Dubinsky, the 25-year-old winger, led the team in goals, assists and points last year (24-30-54) and ranks second in each category (44-54-98) behind Marian Gaborik (64-70-134) over the past two years. He is believed to be seeking in the neighborhood of $5 million to $5.25 million per year on a long-term deal while the Rangers are believed to be offering approximately $500,000 less per season.

This goes against yesterday’s reporting that the holdup on the deal was about years and not the money side of things.  If Brooks is right and Dubinsky is asking for $5 million per season, then arbitration should be a lock to happen because he is not worth that kind of money.  Dubinsky is a very valuable member of the Rangers for all he does on and off the ice, and he has improved statistically in every season, but to say he is worthy getting paid like a 65 point player when he has never produced at that level is real stretch.

The fact that Dubinsky has grown through the Rangers system cannot cloud the discussion on whether he is worth that kind of money.  The interesting part of Brooks report is about the fact that gap appears to be so small when Dubinsky is clearly overreaching on demands.  If the Rangers are actually willing to offer $4.5 million on a long-term deal there is actually more hope that a deal could be bridged that pays him somewhere around $4.75 million a year for the next five seasons.  Personally I think that scenario would see the Rangers overpay Dubinsky by upwards of $500,000 per season and would also cause Ryan Callahan to ask for more than he is worth in return.  Instead Dubinsky should realize that he is not superior to players like David Backes ($4.5 mil) or Andrew Ladd ($4.4 mil) and take $4.5 over five-years if it is on the table.

If the numbers exceed $4.5 million on a long-term deal, then maybe arbitration is the best solution for the Rangers as it should keep the short-term number lower and allow Dubinsky to prove he is worth the bigger dollars he is seeking.