April 5, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Paul Martin (7) moves the puck as New York Rangers center Brandon Dubinsky (17) defends during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

A Look At The New York Rangers's Roster: Brandon Dubinsky

What to say about New York Rangers centerman Brandon Dubinsky?  He started out as a promising young star and built his way up to a tough, hard hitting– 3rd liner?  You can’t say Dubinsky doesn’t have heart, but as I’ve said before, heart doesn’t get you goals and he’s a perfect example.

Looking at his stats through the seasons, there’s a clear climb with his goals and assists.  Dubinsky builds from season to season, a model draftee who set an example for all future draftees- work hard, get results.  And then this season happened.

His goal scoring went from 24 goals to 10 over the course of the season.  That’s a 59% decrease, that’s the opposite direction the New York Rangers want his stats to go (as if you didn’t already know that).  And his struggles on ice only perpetuated the problems.  The more games gone by without a goal, the harder he made it for himself mentally to get a goal.  You could see his undoing, you could see it hurting his morale, and what you couldn’t see was a way out.  With each passing game, he got closer and closer to to being bumped further down the lines.  He was heralded as the future of the franchise and now Dubinsky’s edging in on Wade Redden territory of useless cap hit.

I feel for the guy, but if this keeps up, I’m on board with the push to trade him. Dubinsky is on the books until July 1, 2015.  As a $4.2 million cap hit, Dubinsky better figure out how to get his head back in the game and start scoring.  He’s a great player with tons of heart but his heart isn’t helping the team with their goal scoring situation. And the New York Rangers aren’t struggling to replace him.  There are guys waiting in Connecticut to play, how long until the Rangers stop pushing him down the lines and call someone else up to replace him?  He’s too expensive to be a healthy scratch and honestly, if it’s just a change of scenery that he needs, he’s too good of a player to sit.

This past season, Rangers fans saw Dubinsky as a player willing to drop the gloves and get physical, but also one who lacked the skill to be a full time enforcer.  Poor Dubinksy is stuck in this awkward place of finding himself at a time when the New York Rangers are flush with talent.  And as I write this, his butt is on the line.  He’s an expendable player talent wise lately, and one of the few young guys who’s cap hit clearing would help bring in more talent for the team.  Basically, Dubinsky could find himself on his way to Anaheim or Columbus if a deal is worked out.

If Dubinsky is not sent out, he’s going to have a long road ahead of him this season.  He’s no longer the golden rookie on the team, step up or step aside.  The Rangers are growing and Dubinsky isn’t keeping up.  He’s a fan favorite, he’s full of heart and it shows in his game, but the Rangers aren’t lacking in fan support or heart, they are in goals.  If Dubinsky can’t help solve their goal problems, what’s the point of keeping him around?

Lets Go Rangers!

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