It's not really news since we knew that Brandon Dubinsky and the New York Rangers were going to be headed for arbitration today if the two sides couldn't come to an agreement, but at least the saga will end soon. An arbitration judge has 48 hours to make a decision after the hearing.
Larry Brooks has reporter that the Rangers have elected to go with a one-year salary hearing. From his article:
The Rangers have elected to go for a one-year salary award in today's arbitration hearing in Toronto with Brandon Dubinsky, The Post has learned.
Sources with knowledge of the briefs submitted on behalf of the 25-year-old winger and on behalf of the club have told The Post that Dubinsky has requested a contract worth $4.6 million while the Rangers have come in at $2.8 million.
While the gulf appears exceptionally wide, Elizabeth Neumeier, the arbitrator presiding over the case, is empowered to select any figure between the parties' requests. As such, the disparity in the submissions should not ring any alarm bells, given that they are strategic rather than necessarily reasonable.
This is probably the last thing we wanted to see happen, but it is what it is at this point. If yesterday's rumor that Dubinsky was seeking upwards of $5.25 million a year is true, then it doesn't make much sense for him to go to arbitration, since now the highest figure he can receive is $4.6 million.
The strategy of making it a one-year contract will allow the Rangers to keep Dubinsky as a RFA for another season, and start over again after.
Since the hearing is taking place on a Thursday, the 48-hours will extend into Monday if the judge needs that long.
Brooks also went on to explain a strategy Glen Sather will employ in order to ensure there is no bad blood.
General manager Glen Sather will not attend the hearing. Assistant GM Jeff Gorton will represent the Rangers, but he is not expected to testify. Instead, attorney Cliff Hart, who prepared the brief, is expected to present the Blueshirts' case.
By remaining mum at the hearing -- other than for the authorized sentiments written into the brief questioning Dubinsky's worth, that is --the Rangers hope to avoid the collateral damage and acrimony that often accompanies arbitration.
More when it happens guys. Thoughts on all this?