Monday, June 6, 2011

Rangers, Dubinsky Need Each Other So Contract Will Get Done

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Larry Brooks of the New York Post wrote yesterday that Brandon Dubinsky was seeking $4.5 million per season during his contract negotiations this summer.  Many New York Rangers fans immediately sought to distance themselves from Dubinsky by seeking to minimize his contributions to the club because they thought the amount was too high and that it might lead to his departure.  The defense mechanisms are unnecessary as you can say that you don’t want to see the Rangers pay Brandon $4.5 million without discounting the value he has to this club or resorting to calling him greedy.

From Brooks…
Impending Group II free agent Brandon Dubinsky is seeking a multi-year deal at $4.5 million a year, we're told. But not only isn't he going to get it from Sather, his case became much, much weaker when Buffalo winger Drew Stafford -- whose numbers form a direct comparable -- re-upped a couple of days ago for four years at $4 million per.
I would agree that Dubinsky ends up near where Stafford did, but I would garner a guess that Stafford did not open negotiations at that number to end up there.  He probably began the negotiation process looking for more and the two sides concluded at the 4/16 deal.  To further the issue, Jesse Spector tweeted last night that any statements regarding the “demands” of the Dubinsky side did not come from him or his agent, which makes the whole thing a big exercise is nothing.
NYDNRangers: On the report out today that Dubinsky seeks $4.5M per year -- it didn't come from his camp.   
NYDNRangers: That doesn't mean he's not looking for $4.5M a year, just that it's not him or his agent taking the negotiations public. 
The one thing it did show however is that there is still a propensity for Rangers fans to think the worst of Dubinsky when it comes to contracts based on the holdout two years ago.  The immediate jump to blame him for what was said by Brooks and minimize his worth was frighteningly quick.  This is a player who led the team in goals (24), assists (30), and points (54) while playing part of the season through a stress fracture in his leg.  While his play tailed off in the second half, Dubinsky was clearly the team’s MVP during the first half when he played to a near All-Star level.  Having said all of that, the moment fans thought he wanted too much for his next contract he becomes useless?  We can do better than that as there is not another forward on this team who can help the team in as many ways as Dubinsky does on the ice, except for Ryan Callahan.

Furthering that if you look around the league, as was pointed out by RangerSmurf on twitter yesterday, the salaries of many comparable left wings in the NHL are very similar to the $4.5 million number that was floated by Brooks.  I am hopeful that the actual negotiations go smoothly and the Rangers can keep the deal under $4 million, but this is also what happens when you have a team that lacks offensive talent, as the Rangers do, as it makes each piece more valuable and creates some level of leverage.  The Rangers need Dubinsky for all that he brings them on the ice, and he needs New York for the opportunities he gets here that he would not get most other places.  The mutual need for each other is something that always helps in the end and when both sides see that it will be done.  In the meantime, take a deep breath and don’t jump off the cliff with every rumor, even if time is slow.