Call me confused. Don’t get me wrong; I am stoked that the Rangers and Glen Sather finally came to their senses and gave Dubinsky enough money to entice him to re-sign. The problem I have is with the money they gave him, especially if the reports I have read are true.
We know that pressure had been building on Dubinsky’s side to get the player into camp. John Tortorella and his teammates had reached out both through the media and personally to Dubinsky indicating that they felt it was in his best interest to be in camp with the rest of the team. Reportedly, Dubinsky’s camp lowered their contractual demands in an attempt to meet Sather “in the middle”, so to speak and establish an amicable end to the drawn out negotiations.
Here’s where the confusion for me begins. Reportedly, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post in a blog post dated on 9/19/09, Dubinsky and his agent reduced their demands to either a one year, $1.15 million deal or a two year, $2.1 million pact. Sather meanwhile was reported to be holding fast to their offer of 1 year at $700,000 or a 2 year deal for $1.85 million.
Suddenly it was announced that Dubinsky had agreed to a 2 year contract worth a total of $3.7 million. What?!?!?!? Did Sather really play hardball with a good, young piece of the Rangers future only to end up giving him more than what he was asking for?
The Rangers are already very close to the salary cap ceiling for this season. More importantly, the Rangers have nearly $47 million in cap space committed next year to the following players: Marian Gaborik, Sean Avery, Ales Kotalik, Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Donald Brashear, Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle, Wade Redden, Michal Rozsival, Matt Gilroy and Henrik Lundqvist (13 players – 9 forwards, 3 defensemen and 1 goalie). Noticeably absent from that list are Marc Staal and Dan Girardi, who will both be RFA’s after the season, and Christopher Higgins who will be an UFA after the season.
With a chance the salary cap could drop from its present ceiling of $56.8 million for next season, it could prove to be very difficult for the Rangers to fit everyone under the cap. Every little bit could be important. So if you believe the New York Post and Dubinsky’s reported asking price, why then did the Rangers give Dubinsky an average of roughly $700,000 more (in cap space) per year than what he was asking for?
My guess is the report from the New York Post was inaccurate. Either that or Glen Sather needs to be committed to a psych ward. Regardless, the Rangers will face some difficult decisions following the season.