Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Video: Stepan, McDonagh Talk Transition From College To NHL, Which Rangers Helped Most

 In the second installment of the Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonaghs interview with Blueshirts United they discuss the transition from playing at Wisconsin to being a professional in the NHL along with which Rangers veterans had the biggest influence on them during their rookie year.

Video via Blueshirts United:

Rangers Lose $527K In Cap Space Due To Bonus Overages

Every dollar in cap space is critical for the New York Rangers right now as they look to sign both Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan long-term while making other roster decisions.  According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post the Rangers lost some of that space under the $64.3 million 2011-12 cap having encountered $527,000 in bonus overages last season.  That amount leaves the Rangers with $10.64 million under the cap which is plenty for Dubinsky and Callahan, but makes the rest of the roster get tight.  For example, if Tim Erixon makes the team out of camp that is another $1.75 million against the cap and that doesn’t even count a veteran defenseman if the Rangers do bring back Steve Eminger as was rumored earlier this afternoon.

The $527,000 could have been a lot worse for the Rangers as there was a potential of $3.8 million in bonuses from players on last year’s roster, but every dollar counts and this makes this slightly more difficult for New York.  The Rangers do have extra forwards right now and the alleviation of Erik Christensen through trade or demotion or Wojtek Wolski through buyout or trade would certainly give more breathing room under the cap.

Steven Stamkos Staying In Tampa Bay For Five Years

While the rumors about restricted free agent Steven Stamkos have been fun for many to write about, the "drama" ends the way it was always going to as Stamkos has signed a 5 year, $37.5 million deal to remain with the Lightning.
According to Nick Kypreos the breakdown of the deal has Stamkos making $8 million in each if the first four years of the deal and $5.5 million in the final season.

Dubinsky Contract Hold Up Is Over Years Not Money

Earlier this afternoon Larry Brooks New York Post reported that there is a gap between Brandon Dubinsky and the New York Rangers.  The distance in the gap was said to be one that made his looming Thursday arbitrationhearing seem like a likely outcome.  The initial assumptions for most was that the issue was about the money involved for the two sides, but Jesse Spector of the New York Daily News reports that the issue is about the length of the deal.
“(Dubinsky is) looking for a longer term,” the source said.
The good part of this is that years should be easier to bridge in terms of the gap than if it were a money issue.  However, this news has many very confused as to why there is an issue at this point.  For Dubinsky the ideal term in terms of maximizing his value is likely 3-4 years where he would get slightly overpaid based on what he has done so far and leave himself in a position to get another big contract in his late 20’s.  It would make little sense for Dubinsky to ask for a term in the six-year range because he would be taking less now and lowering the amount of money and term he could get on his next contract.  If the holdup is that Dubinsky wants 4-5 years and the Rangers only want to give him 2-3, then this one is on the organization and not the player.  So, unless Dubinsky is asking for some sort of career type deal (8+ years), the fact that he wants to stay in the organization longer is a good thing.  From the Rangers perspective if the term is 4-5 years it makes to lock him up for as long as they can at a lower number than where he could play himself to in the next few seasons. 

Dubinsky Likely Headed To Arbitration Hearing As Gap Exists On Long-Term Contract

With the arbitration hearing for Brandon Dubinsky less than two days away there was bound to be some news today about the progress between his representatives and the New York Rangers on a new long-term contract.  While not totally surprising, it is still bad to hear the negative news come out today from Larry Brooks of the New York Post. 
Unless theres dramatic shift, Dubinsky headed to arb on Thur, sides not close enough yet on longterm. Talks continue with Callahan, arb 7/28
The initial reaction for followers of the Rangers will be a combination of anger that the team has not locked up a key player to a long-term deal and assuming that the issue is Dubinsky’s fault for being greedy.  There is likely some merit to both sides.  The reality is that Dubinsky has the leverage in an arbitration hearing this year based on his performance and importance to the Rangers last season.  It is that leverage that led me to say that the Rangers would have to overpay Dubinsky in order to avoid this hearing on Thursday.  The two sides could still work something out in the next 48 hours, but as Brooks says it would take a dramatic shift to see it happen.  The contract for Andrew Ladd is the best basis for a long-term deal with Dubinsky though likely more than the Rangers would like to pay to lock up a key piece of their young core.

In other news the Rangers are likely to re-sign Steve Eminger

Rumor: Rangers Close To Re-signing Steve Eminger

Larry Brooks of the New York Post tweets that the New York Rangers are close to re-signing Steve Eminger.  Eminger played very well at times during his first season with the Rangers, but just as importantly showed that he can handle being a healthy scratch for periods of time and still be ready to help the team when he is needed.  I called for this move just over a month ago as Eminger is an ideal insurance policy for the Rangers young defense as he can play on the third pair if someone is not ready, struggles or gets injured while sitting if he is not needed.

Rookie Watch: Is Tim Erixon Ready To Join Ranks of Successful Young Rangers Defenders?

The New York Rangers had tremendous success during the 2010-11 season incorporating rookies into their lineup and having those players perform at a very high level.  It is rare that a team can have significant contributions from three or four rookies in a season and still be a very competitive overall.  New York had that last season with Derek Stepan and Michael Sauer performing at very high levels for the entire season, while Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello also played well in their split seasons between the AHL and NHL.
After a season like that it would be understandable for an organization to lack talented players to step in as rookies the following season.  The Rangers do not have that problem and over the course of the next week we are going to look at some of the rookies that have a chance to make an impact on the Rangers during the 2011-12 season, whether it be in full or partial season duty.  Yesterday there was a look at CarlHagelin and what his chances were to both in terms of making the team and how big an impact he would have.  Today, the focus shifts to elite defensive prospect Tim Erixon and his quest to make the team out of camp and follow in the footsteps of Michael Sauer and Ryan McDonagh in how he adapted quickly at the NHL level.