Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Report: Dubinsky Expected To Go To Arbitration This Thursday

You just had to know that after how great this offseason seemed to be going, something would go wrong. Such is the life of being a Rangers fan, of course. This morning, Larry Brooks Tweeted that Brandon Dubinsky and the Rangers are still far apart on a new long-term contract and that Dubinsky and the Rangers will head to arbitration on Thursday "unless there's a dynamic shift" in the negotiations. Jesse Spector of the New York Daily News essentially confirmed Brooks' report, and even quoted an unnamed Rangers source who said the holdup for a new deal is that Dubinsky "is looking for a longer term."

Read more below.

If Spector's report is accurate, I have to wonder what the Rangers are thinking. Unless Brandon Dubinsky is pushing for a mega Jeff Carter-like contract extension from the Rangers - as Kevin Baumer of BlueshirtBulletin.com speculated in our conversation on Twitter - why would the Rangers possibly not want to lock this kid up now when he may not have even reached his full potential yet? It doesn't really make sense to me. I could see the hangup actually being the other way around; with the Rangers wanting to lock up Dubinsky long-term now and Dubinsky wanting a short-term deal so that he could cash in when he hits the open market in a few years.

One thing we've seen time and time again with Glen Sather is that he likes to pinch pennies with his own restricted free agents. We saw it with Dubinsky's holdout two years ago, we saw it when Glen Sather publicly criticized Marc Staal's agent for what he was asking for last year when Staal was a free agent and we saw it several years back when Sather took Sean Avery to arbitration after he was arguably the team's best forward following his mid-season trade to New York. I don't agree with it, but it doesn't change the fact that it seems to be the way Sather conducts business. It's even more baffling to me why the Rangers would let it get to this point when you consider the fact that Dubi is a homegrown talent who has become a critical part of this team's core leadership.

So, is there officially reason to worry? I'd say so. The Rangers essentially have a little over one day to complete a new deal with Dubinsky or else it'll be the Rangers' objective to explain to a judge all the flaws in Brandon Dubinsky's game and why he deserves less money than what he's asking for. There's no sugarcoating it - these things have been known to damage the relationship between a player and his team.

Meanwhile, Spector said that any discussions for a new deal for Ryan Callahan have been temporarily put on the back-burner by the Rangers, as they are completely focused on getting a new deal done for Dubinsky right now. So, at least it seems like both sides are still talking and working towards a new deal. Callahan's arbitration date is next Thursday, July 28, so the Rangers have a little over a week left to work on his new deal.

Finally, Larry Brooks also Tweeted today that the Rangers are closing in on re-signing UFA defenseman Steve Eminger to a new deal, which "should be done relatively soon." I always thought Eminger was pretty solid overall for the Rangers last season whenever he was asked to step in and play, and I have no problem bringing him back to fill that veteran 6th/7th defenseman role that the Rangers have a need for. Eminger showed last season that he was capable of handling his own defensive responsibilities without making any stupid mistakes, and he also had a little bit of a bite to his physical game. He wore down a bit as the season went along, but I thought that had a lot to do with the fact that John Tortorella wanted to give Matt Gilroy more playing time at Eminger's expense to add some offense to the lineup.

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