Brandon Dubinsky, who led the Rangers in scoring last season, has not agreed to a new contract and appears to be headed to an arbitration hearing tomorrow.
Dubinsky, 25, and his agent reportedly are seeking far more than $4 million per season in a longer-term deal that the Rangers are unwilling to offer. “Nothing new to report,” a team spokesman said, although some time remains for a deal to be forged to avoid the hearing.
The Rangers would ask for a two-year arbitration award and presumably accept the results. Arbitrators generally split the difference between what the two sides are asking.
Dubinsky, who scored a career-high 24 goals and 54 points, would then become an unrestricted free agent in two years, unless the Rangers signed him to an extension, as was the case with goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Dubinsky is a candidate for the left side of the No. 1 line with Marian Gaborik and newly-acquired center Brad Richards.
“I’d like to get it (a contract) done as quickly as possible,” Dubinsky said in April. “I think the Rangers want me, and I want the Rangers. So at the end of the day, we may as well not waste each other’s time.”
That wasn’t the case in September 2009, when Dubinsky missed eight days of training camp before agreeing to a two-year, $3.7-million deal. Coach John Tortorella was unhappy with the holdout; asked what he expected from the forward, he responded: “We’re not paying him a million-eight to check.”
Dubinsky, linemate Ryan Callahan, defenseman Michael Sauer and center Brian Boyle filed for arbitration on July 5. Sauer and Boyle avoided hearings by agreeing to deals. Unless Callahan signs, a strong possibility, his hearing is July 28. He is expected to receive around the same money as Dubinsky, which will significantly tighten the Rangers salary cap.