|Gotta love the 'stache!|
Two down, one to go. After it was all but seemingly certain that the Rangers and Brandon Dubinsky were headed towards their 9 a.m. arbitration hearing this morning in Toronto, the Rangers and Dubinsky came to terms on a new 4-year, $16.8 million contract to keep the Rangers' homegrown fan favorite in blue. After locking up Brian Boyle and Brandon Dubinsky within the last week, Ryan Callahan is now the only remaining RFA on the Rangers' roster.
The deal, which was officially announced by the Rangers here, will pay Dubinsky $3.75 million in 2011-2012, $3.75 million in 2012-2013, $4.65 million in 2013-2014 and $4.65 million in 2014-2015.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post briefly spoke to Dubinsky after the deal was officially announced this morning and got some quotes from Dubi.
“I wanted to be in New York, it’s the place I live, it’s the place I love and I want to be here forever,” Dubinsky, who led the Rangers in goals, assists and points (24-34=58) last season, told The Post by phone before flying home. “At the end of the day, I think it’s a homerun for me. I hope the team feels the same way.”
Larry Brooks originally reported a few days ago that Dubinsky was pushing for upwards of $5 million per season from the Rangers, which I personally thought was way too much. I don't really believe Dubinsky's agent believed the Rangers would pay that much for him. Either way, this deal for the Rangers is absolutely fantastic. They lock up a kid who has become one of the faces of everything this franchise is about and who has consistently gotten better each season since he came up from Hartford. I'm one of those people who believe Dubinsky hasn't reached his full potential yet, and I'm honestly really surprised that he's making under $4 million per season in the first two years of his deal. Great job by Glen Sather and Co. for getting this deal done and signing Dubinsky to a real team-friendly deal that benefits both sides.
This deal will also serve as a platform for what Ryan Callahan is asking for going forward. It's hard to say what his deal will wind up looking like, but I do think it'll be similar to Dubi's when it's all said and done. I also think the Rangers won't get all the way till next Thursday without signing Callahan; I can see them agreeing to a deal maybe over the weekend or early next week now that Dubinsky is done.
Dubinsky remains the favorite to open the season on the top line with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. Things are certainly starting to get more and more exciting for the 2011-2012 New York Rangers.