Yesterday, Dubinsky, 25, signed a four-year, $16.8 million ($4.2 million cap-hit), and with it immediately increasing the expectations for the Rangers’ leading scorer last season.
Dubinsky said the deal was a win-win for both sides, with neither party sacrificing much.
“I didn’t take less and they didn’t overpay,” said Dubinsky, who scored 24 goals and 54 points last season. “At the end of the day, the team was happy with the deal and so was I. It relieves a lot of pressure. I think that was what made it most exciting, knowing that I had a long-term deal to stay in New York and be a part of the Rangers and what we’re trying to build.”
The Alaska-native said although the contract talks seemed rocky on the outside, there wasn’t another organization he wanted to play for, now or for several years.
“I never wanted to be on another team,” he said. “I wanted to be in New York, where I live, and be a part of the Rangers and the way our team is starting to trend, I want to be a big part of it. I’m really happy with the investment they put into me. By the time the deal is done, I’ll be with the organization for 12 years, it’s pretty awesome.”
With the deal still not in place just hours before his arbitration meeting, many remembered back to 2009 when the 2004 second-round pick held-out until training camp for a new contract. Luckily for Dubinsky, the Rangers and the fans, it was avoided this time around.
“I’m a little bit older and have played a few more years and I think the team knows what they are going to be getting,” said Dubinsky. “I think it was easier to make a longer commitment than they did the first time around.”
2011-12 will Dubinsky’s fifth full-season in the NHL, all with the Rangers. He believes, especially with a young team, his leadership will be needed both on the ice and in the locker room.
“I’ve been here for a long time and I’ve gotten to that point that I know what it’s like to play here,” said Dubinsky. “We have a lot of younger guys so hopefully I can use the experience and let it rub off on them. We have a core here and bringing in guys like [Brad] Richards and the winning he brings to the table, we’re excited for that.”
With the deal in the rear-view mirror, Dubinsky can now look to the future. He believes the group of players the Rangers have this season can be a force in the Eastern conference.
“Obviously a lot is going to ride on the defense, we have a younger defense but I know we have confidence in those guys,” he said. “If they can step up and continue to improve on the season, take what they learned from the year before, I have no doubt we have a team that can compete with anybody and be a contender.”
Quotes courtesy of ESPN.com. Read the full story here.
Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamiaTHW