NEW YORK, NY - MAY 23: Brandon Dubinsky #17 of the New York Rangers and Ryan Carter #20 of the New Jersey Devils vie for the puck in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 23, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
As we get closer and closer to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, all NHL teams will be evaluating the talent on their roster in order to see who they want to keep and who they might think about moving. In the New York Rangers' case, one of the players they're going to have to take a long, hard look at is Brandon Dubinsky.
Dubinsky -- one of the original home-grown prospects of this team -- signed a four-year $4.2-million deal last summer to keep him on Broadway. The expectation was that Dubinsky would continue to grow as a player and become a two-way, 50+ point player he had been
It never happened.
Dubinsky had the worst season of his professional career, scoring just 10 goals and adding 24 assists for 34 points in 77 games. When all was said and done, Dubinsky regressed significantly (if you look at the offensive numbers) from his 24-goal, 54-point season last year.
Which leads to the question: Should the Rangers trade Brandon Dubinsky?
Join me after the jump for more.
It was widely accepted that Dubinsky would bounce back in the playoffs, with Dubinsky himself admitting that a fresh start might do him wonders. It didn't. Dubinsky had just two assists in nine playoff games, and missed more than half the playoffs with an ankle injury.
It's not a popular idea, but after this past season -- especially when you look at Dubinsky's cap hit -- it's something that needs to at least be discussed.
There were rumors in the beginning of the year that Dubinsky might be paired with a few prospects and picks for Anaheim Ducks sniper Bobby Ryan. That trade didn't go through, and since the Ducks made their coaching change to Bruce Boudreau, the Ryan trade rumors have all but died.
There are continued whispers that the Rangers will be in on the Rick Nash sweepstakes (again), which happens to be a rumor with more legs since the Rangers did make a big offer for him at the tail end of the trade deadline. What's unclear is whether or not Dubinsky would be part of that package. He was reportedly part of the deal Glen Sather sent over to Scott Howson in February. How much interest is left is unknown.
Anyway, those are only two players who might be on the market. There could be others we don't know about. But the question remains the same: Should the Rangers look into moving Dubinsky? Or should the Rangers give him another chance?
Despite his lack of offensive numbers, the Rangers were remarkably better in terms of puck possession with him than they were without him. Can the Rangers afford to lose that? The New Jersey Devils beat the Rangers because they kept New York hemmed in their own zone for long stretches. It wasn't until Dubinsky came back that the Rangers could even entertain the idea of doing the same thing.
Is that enough to overlook Dubinsky's cap hit and lack of numbers? Are the intangibles enough to give Dubinsky another shot? Or can the Rangers not afford another poor year from Dubinsky -- which would probably plummet his trade value?
What are your thoughts on this guys?