If you were on my live chat yesterday, you'll remember I kinda left the door open a smidge for a deal to avoid arbitration and hedged on the $$$$ terms that the sides were reportedly arguing over.
"Josh: In this business, you learn to never say never, but...chances are slim..."
And later..."Just speaking for myself, I really try to be accurate. I hear a lot and generally am hesitant to write something unless I trust the persons with the info, who generally don't want to be on the record. The best I can report, which I did yesterday, is that Dubinsky and his agent want way more than $4 mil per year and at least four years. Rangers would like to pay less."
We know that in the vast majority of cases, settlements are reached before going before an arbitrator. But I confess that I was taken aback by this morning's news; I had been told yesterday evening that all was in place for a 9 a.m. hearing in Toronto.
The 11th hour, four-year deal worth $16.8 million, is cap-friendly, especially for a winger who likely would command $5 million on the free agent market down the road.
So, add $4.2 million to the cap for 2011-12 and by my calcs, the Blueshirts right now have about $6.4 million left to add Ryan Callahan, who, based on this and his play, deserves about $4 million per as well. So there is wiggle room for a defenseman, most likely Steve Eminger, and more action (demotions, trades) in September.
There's more on newsday.com....