Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.
Brandon Dubinsky: Skating with the team and hopefulAfter an informal scrimmage this morning at the team's Westchester County training center with a mix of about 30 Rangers veterans, Hartford Wolf Pack players and prospects, center Brandon Dubinsky was at his old locker and sounding optimistic about his future.
“I want to be a Ranger,” said Dubinsky, 23, still an unsigned, restricted free agent. “The Rangers want me here; something’s gonna get done real quick and this will all be an afterthought. I’m in here working hard, getting ready for the season, not worrying about that; everything falls into place eventually, so I’m not losing any sleep over it. Obviously there’s been a lot of speculation and stuff, but I know where we’re at and where we’re gonna be…It might be 12 days away from camp, but 12 days is a long time, you can have a lot of conversations in 12 days, it only takes one.”
Dubinsky, who did not accept a qualifying offer of $698,000, said he was not shocked that the process has played out this long.
“You always think it’s going to happen right away, but it’s been an interesting summer for our team, all the changes with trades and some signings,” said Dubinsky. “I knew there was a chance it was going to take a while because heading into the summer we had a lot of free agents---not only restricted but unrestricted, so they had to make some decisions, even some of the restricted free agents had arbitration. So I was able to get the qualifier and hang out.” Asked if he was ready to play for the qualifier, he hedged: “We’ll see. I don’t want to talk about numbers and figures and terms, I’m ready to play, been working hard; leave it to the businessmen, that’s why we pay those guys.”
During the summer, Dubinsky trained in his home state of Alaska and in New York recently and changed his routine a bit. “I shot a lot of pucks; I passed on too many opportunities last season,” he said.
More on the workout and the attendees coming up.....