The New York Rangers avoided salary arbitration with one of their best young talents by agreeing to terms with Brandon Dubinsky on a four-year deal worth a reported $16.8 million, more than doubling the $2 million he earned last season.
The 25-year-old center emerged as a pivotal part of New York’s success as he had a career year with 24 goals and 30 assists in 77 games for the Rangers, a team that experienced several injuries throughout the season but pulled it together for a playoff berth.
With Brad Richards on board for next season, Dubinsky will likely slot in as the team’s second line center and give the Rangers a fierce looking top-six that displays a mix of good, young talent along with proven veterans like Richards and Marion Gaborik.
By avoiding salary arbitration with Dubinsky, the Rangers currently have 20 players under contract for next season with roughly $6.4 million available in cap space. Some of that will go toward forward Ryan Callahan, a restricted free agent who is also scheduled to go to salary arbitration. It’s likely that Callahan will get a very similar deal to Dubinsky.
The Rangers will then look to shore up their blue line as they only have five defenseman under contract next season. Some of the best defensive free agents still available include Bryan McCabe, who played for the Rangers last season, Scott Hannan, Craig Rivet and Brent Sopel. However, many of those players would need to take a pay cut to fit under New York’s salary cap. It’s likely that New York could look to fill the void with up-and-comers from their farm system or less expensive free agent talent.