No Need To Panic Over Dubinsky Demands

Despite Larry Brooks’ recent report concerning Brandon Dubinsky’s apparent salary demands, there needn’t be much concern over the proposed $4.5m per year figure. After all, we all know he’s not getting that.

Brooks stated in a brief blurb on Sunday that Dubinsky is believed to be seeking a multi-year deal in the region of $4.5m per year.

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.

Now, Brooks is right to mention Stafford when talking about a prospective contract for Dubinsky. The Sabres forward, re-signed to a four-year, $16m deal late last week, is the best comparable for Dubinsky in terms of age and output. Stafford, also 25 years old, posted 52 points in 62 games with the Sabres last season. By comparison, Dubinsky notched 54 in 77 while scoring seven goals less than Stafford. Both had three points in respective first-round playoff defeats to the Capitals and Flyers.

Dubinsky continues to trend on an upward curve throughout the early part of his career, improving his yearly figures for the third straight season in 2010/11. His work on the penalty kill and place amongst the teams young leadership core should not (and will not) be underestimated by Sather behind closed doors.

He’s well worth a contract in the region of $3.75-4m per year, though the $4.5m figure really should be taken as nothing more than negotiating tactics. Dubinsky and his agent are shooting for the moon  and you can hardly blame them. Rule #1; always set the bar higher than your realistic expectations.

This is a guy that plays with grit and the oft-wanted ‘jam‘. He works hard in all areas of the ice, sticks up for his teammates, fights when required and plays a key role on one of the NHL’s best penalty-killing units. He embodies the teams blue-collar style much like fellow RFA Ryan Callahan and at least merits the right to swing big with his opening offer.

This only becomes an issue if Dubinsky sticks rigidly to his demands and holds out as he did at the start of the 2009/10 season, a move which enraged John Tortorella. The Rangers nor Dubinsky would want that so it’s to be hoped that both parties can settle on a price that works well for each of them.

The Rangers won’t want a repeat of what happened (or, more pertinently, didn’t happen) that summer, but a reported first offer figure really needn’t set off the warning sirens. Another thing to note was a pair of tweets from the NY Daily News’ Jesse Spector soon after the Brooks report came out. In them Spector states that the prospective figures have not come out of the Dubinsky camp, so it of course remains to be seen if there is actually any validity to the reported numbers at all.

The likelihood is that Dubinsky will be locked up to a Stafford-esque deal before any of us can even consider concerning ourselves with it. Fret not, Rangerland.

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