Friday, July 15, 2011

Video: Boyle Talks Summer Training, Rangers Signings and Increased Expectations

Earlier this week, while at the MSG training center, Brian Boyle was interviewed by Jim Cerny for Blueshirts  During the interview Boyle discussed his preparation for next year, the Rangers off-season signings and the increased expectations for the team.

Henrik Lundqvist Dresses As a King And Sells Shampoo

There are a lot of ways one can imagine to spend part of a bachelor party and few if anyone would expect it to involve selling shampoo in a mall.  Yet that is exactly what Henrik Lundqvist did back in Sweden during his bachelor party.  Not only that he did it dressed up like a King and played the guitar.

Rangers Have Key Difference In Dubinsky, Callahan Arbitration Hearings

With Sauer, Anisimov and Boyle out of the way Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan, the two most complicated of the restricted free agent deals are all that are left for the New York Rangers.  Earlier I looked at how Andrew Ladd’s new contract should be a base for Dubinsky new deal, but there is something else to keep in mind when talking the arbitration cases for each player.  

Larry Brooks of the New York Post points out that because of the differential in years before they reach unrestricted free agency the Rangers have the option of asking for a decision on Dubinsky for two-years, while Callahan can only be for one season.
Dubinsky, whose hearing is scheduled for next Thursday, is two years away from unrestricted free agency under terms of the current collective bargaining agreement. The Rangers would be expected to elect a two-year arbitration award should the parties be unable to agree on a long-term contract prior to the hearing.
Callahan, however, would be eligible to hit the open market next July 1 if the Rangers are unable to sign him to a long-term deal before then. As such, there is more urgency to avoid arbitration with Callahan, whose hearing is scheduled for July 28 and can only receive a one-year award.
The fact that the Rangers can get a two-year award on Dubinsky might give the team slightly more leverage in terms of a long-term deal and would also allow the team to avoid having to negotiate with Dubinsky again next summer.  Callahan being only one year from unrestricted status does create some added pressure on the organization for a long-term deal since he would hit the open market along with him being the presumed next captain of the team.  Even if Callahan does get a one-year arbitration award they could certainly negotiate a long-term extension during the season next year.

Andrew Ladd's Contract Should Be Basis For Rangers Deal With Brandon Dubinsky

After signing Brian Boyle yesterday, only Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan are left to get new contracts from the New York Rangers.  Since there are now only six days remaining until Dubinsky would get his arbitration hearing let us look at what he might get if a long term deal can be worked out.  Based on contracts given out this summer and previous contracts for comparable left wings around the league it is safe to assume that Dubinsky is going to at least meet if not eclipse the $4 million mark on an annual deal.  The Rangers likely don’t want to go that high, but the combination of the market and his value to the team means that Dubinsky will get that money.

Andrew Ladd, a very comparable player to Dubinsky, just signed a new deal last week that should set the framework for Dubinsky’s new deal in New York.  Ladd put up 29 goals and 30 assists last season to lead the then Thrashers in both goals and points while being the team’s captain.  For Dubinsky the offensive importance was similar as he lead New York in goals (24), assists (30), points (54) while becoming one of the vocal leaders on the team even without a letter on his sweater.

For their careers the numbers are somewhat similar as well as Ladd averages .52 points per game in 402 career games while Dubinsky has a points per game average of .57 in 316 games.  Given that both players are likely better suited for second line roles and play in all situations, but have been forced because of varying circumstances to play against top competition at times the comparison is very apt in terms of contract.

Ladd’s new deal was a five-year, $22 million contract that will see him make $4 million in the last season of restricted free agency and $4.5 million in each of his next four unrestricted years.  The Rangers doing something similar with a Dubinsky the deal would come out to a five-year, $21.5 million contract that has him count for a $4.3 million hit against the cap.  If Sather can strike that kind of deal with Dubinsky it would be a huge win for both as Dubinsky gets paid very well long term and the Rangers keep a key piece of their core for the long-term.

Rangers J.T. Miller Chooses OHL Over Commitment To North Dakota

Yesterday it was reported initially by Kevin Allen of USA Today and then confirmed by Coming Down The Pipe that New York Rangers 2011 first round pick Jonathan ‘J.T.’ Miller will back out on his commitment to play at the University of North Dakota next season in order to play for the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League.
This was always seen as a possibility since he was drafted, but the initial reports were that he was still going to attend UND next year.  There is no telling now whether this is the right move for Miller’s development, but it clearly speaks to his urgency to turn professional as quickly as possible. Miller has said that he wants to turn professional in a year and he must have determined that playing in the OHL gives him the best chance to do so.  In recent years the CHL has been seen as the faster route to the NHL, but it is tough to argue with the history of player development that has gone on at the University of North Dakota.