UPDATE ON DUBINSKY: Thanks to wolfgaze for the link. Steve Zipay of Newsday had a chance to speak with Brandon Dubinsky and clarify some of the contract confusion. Assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld was on XM Home Ice last week and said that Dubinsky was under contract, though apparently that is not the case. However, Dubinsky is skating with the team and says he wants to be a Rangers and thinks something will get done. More as it's available...
While enjoying one of summer's final Sundays, a few thoughts come to mind about what the next couple of weeks will hold for the New York Rangers.
There are some obvious gaping holes (first line center?) that need to be addressed and it remains to be seen whether those roles will be filled by rookies, a free agent acquisition, or a trade.
Let's examine a few of these things:
Dany Heatley: So much of a media-circus has been made with the Heatley rumors. If Ottawa is looking for Marc Staal or Brandon Dubinsky, as reported, then there isn't much interest on the Rangers end. While it appears that San Jose is the most likely destination, I wouldn't count out the Rangers at the 11th hour. However, that doesn't address their need for a center to play with all of these wingers.
Speaking of Dubinsky: As I understand it, Dubinsky is under contract for the upcoming season as he accepted the Rangers meager qualifying offer. So no worries about him going elsewhere. However, it is still likely that he signs a larger contract at some point soon.
Is Kessel possible: A report or two broke mid-week that the Rangers were seriously considering an offer sheet or trade with the Boston Bruins for center Phil Kessel. While it would definitely fill the first line center role, I can't see the Rangers and Bruins swapping talent.
Nearing the cap: While the Rangers are nearing the cap as they get closer to filling their roster, is anyone else still angered by the Donald Brashear $1.6 million contract? How can you justify that much money when Vinny Prospal gets $1.1 million. Very poor signing.
Speaking of roster, is anyone else having trouble with line combinations? How's this for a start:
Vaclav Prospal - Brandon Dubinsky - Marian Gaborik
Chris Higgins - Chris Drury - Ales Kotalik
Sean Avery - Artem Anisimov - Ryan Callahan
Donald Brashear - Brian Boyle - Aaron Voros
Could Enver Lisin find a spot on the final roster? How about Tyler Arnason or Evgeny Grachev? Lots of questions, but what it is for certain is that the Rangers have some assets and a lot of similar talent so perhaps that can be packaged for a player like Heatley, Brad Richards, or Kessel.
More this week including some exciting announcements here with Blueshirt Bulletin...