Arbitration, what arbitration? With just over an hour to go until his hearing in Toronto this afternoon, Brandon Dubinsky has agreed to a new four-year, $16.8m deal with the Rangers. That’s a $4.2m cap-hit per season with the Rangers buying out two UFA years in the process. In other words, that’s a pretty damn good deal from this viewpoint.
Both sides looked destined for arbitration this morning, with the NY Post’s Larry Brooks mentioning respective salary requests on both sides and confirming the Rangers were only seeking a one-year deal on any award. Thankfully, and belatedly, we needn’t worry about that now that the Rangers have locked up another of their restricted free-agents at the final hour. Dubinsky’s re-signing leaves Ryan Callahan as the only key piece still un-signed, though that is expected to be done before Callahan’s scheduled arbitration hearing next Thursday (28th).
Much as we can quibble and disagree over the slightest difference in estimated figures, this contract represents a solid deal for both sides and one that could – hopefully – prove below market value should Dubinsky explode over the next two seasons. Whether or not he gets the LW spot alongside Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik is still up for debate, but if he does then there’s little reason to be cynical about his cap-hit as his numbers ‘should’ rise steadily. His $4.2m cap-hit also sets a benchmark for Callahan who should probably be expected to receive a similar contract between now and next Thursday.
Both offer far more than just numbers; their on-ice leadership and phenomenal compete level makes up so much of their true value to the Rangers, hence it’s good to see Dubinsky locked up before enforced mud-slinging had to take place in Toronto this afternoon. As the saying goes – four down, one to go.
Larry Brooks has recently posted some quotes from Dubinsky in which he mentions his delight at re-signing and his excitement for the coming season. Most telling, perhaps, is this really nice little excerpt;
I can’t even tell you how much I’m looking forward to the season. With all the guys we have coming back plus the signings we’ve made with Richie [Brad Richards] and Mike Rupp, I think we’re going to be a contender in the East; I really feel that way.
I high have expectations for myself and for the team. The last couple of years we’ve talked about being contenders. Now I truly believe we have the team to do it, not just talk about it.