Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rangers Announce Training Camp Start Date, Full Preseason Schedule

The New York Rangers today announced today that September 16th will be the opening day of training camp as well as adding a preseason game against EV Zug in Zug, Switzerland to complete their seven game preseason schedule.  The announcement of September 16th means that there are just over 8 weeks remaining until the Rangers kick off camp in hopes of making the 2011-12 campaign a championship season.  Frankly, the season cannot get here fast enough.

Full Press Release after the jump:

MSG To Televise Rangers Games at Traverse City Tournament

MSG Network announced today that they will be broadcasting all four New York Rangers games at the Traverse City Prospect Tournament in early September.  Traverse City is a great chance to get to see prospects that many have not seen play before and see how they stack up against other prospects around the league.  

The tournament will be held September 10 through September 14th this year.  The format of the tournament is quite simple in that each team will play three games round-robin style and then based on the rankings pair off with the team that finished in the same position in the standings in the other division.  The eight teams participating this year are Detroit, Buffalo, Carolina, St Louis, Minnesota, Columbus, Dallas and the New York Rangers.

The schedule is as follows:

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.

Rookie Watch: Can Dylan McIlrath Force His Way To Broadway Ahead of Schedule?

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.  Already this week there was an examination of Carl Hagelin and Tim Erixon in terms of making the team and their impact.   Now the focus shifts to 2010 first round draft pick Dylan McIlrath.