After an 11th-hour deal helped the New York Rangers and Brandon Dubinsky avoid arbitration, we're starting to hear more about the negotiations. The four-year $16.8 million ($4.2 million cap hit) is a very fair deal for both sides, that surprised almost everyone when it was announced.
Andrew Gross went into some detail over how the deal was struck, and what happened to help avoid arbitration. From his article:
"I think it doesn't matter now that it's done," Dubinsky added, when asked whether the talks went the way he expected. "It's tough to say. Negotiating anything in life is not the easiest thing to do. The team is trying to get the best deal for them and the player is trying to get the best deal for him. At the end of the day, the team is happy with the deal and I'm happy with the deal. They don't feel like they overpaid and I feel like I got enough. I always thought something was going to get done. Just talking to people in the organization, whether it was Slats (Glen Sather) or Torts (John Tortorella), I felt like the wanted me. I've said a million times what the organization means to me. I like playing in New York. Even though it went down to the wire, even though it was stressful, I was always pretty confident something would get done."
Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan are exactly what you want out of home-grown prospects. They're talented, they do whatever it takes to win and they love the team they were drafted by. Dubinsky never made it a secret that he wants to be a Rangers-lifer, and this four-year deal is just what the doctor ordered.
Join me after the jump for more.
Dubinsky also goes on to talk about how the contract will help him.
"I think it changes a lot of things," Dubinsky said. "First of all, it shows the commitment level the team has to me. It shows they believe I'm a big part of the puzzle trying to fill in their championship puzzle. It's a big boioost of confidence. My mindset with the contract, it frees my mind a little bit. I understand the expectations that come with a contract of that size. I feel like I'm ready to step up and meet those expectations. I'm not worried about that being a problem. At the same time, it frees my mind. I got the contract I wanted, I have the time I wanted. Now I can focus on hockey and not worry about anything else."
As much as Dubinsky wanted a long-term deal, the Rangers did as well, just at the right price. Considering Dubinsky might get a real shot on the first line with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, a four-year deal allows him to have an explosive season without the worry of giving him a substantial raise at the end of the year (if the two sides went to arbitration).
Dubinsky has been on an upward trend the past two years, including last year when he had career highs in goals, assists and points. That trend should only increase when he finds himself of the power play with Richards, or even on his line. Some have speculated that Dubinsky and Callahan have too much chemistry to break up, but either way, Dubinsky is going to be an impact player next year.
Speaking of Callahan, his agent, Steve Bartlett, spoke with USA Today about what type of deal Callahan is expecting. From that article:
We have not talked with the Rangers in the last few days," said Callahan's agent, Steve Bartlett. "Due to the timing of the Dubinsky hearing, that is not surprising and I would assume we are now at bat."
"Any signing of a player of similar age and accomplishments affects players who share restricted free agency," Bartlett said. "Much like the real estate market, one looks at comparables. We know we're looking at houses on the same block, now we need to find out what's inside."
The two deals have always expected to be similar. Both players play key roles on the team, although Callahan has the advantage of being the top candidate to be the next captain of the team. Callahan also has another advantage, his numbers last season are comparable to Dubinsky's (Callahan finished the year with 48 points to DUbinsky's 54) but Callahan missed 17 more games than Dubinsky did.
It should get interesting, since Callahan's arbitration is scheduled for July 28th. Like his agent said: "Now we need to find out what's inside. "