Just like peanut butter and jelly, Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan of the New York Rangers need each other to stay relevant. Overrated as they may be, they are two of the young faces of this franchise, both of which are hitting restricted free agency this summer. Dubinsky has given us something to talk about regarding money, as he has done before, because according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, he is seeking a multi-year deal at $4.5 million per. If that is the case, the concierge better get the door, because as Brooks also notes, a comparative player in Drew Stafford of the Buffalo Sabres was just given a four-year deal at $4 million, and he had 31 goals last season.
We all know of the love affair between fans and hardworking players. As much as I like to laugh at how overrated Callahan and Dubinsky are to this fan base, I still recognize that they are important cogs in the machine. If I had to choose between the two of them to keep only one, I would take Callahan, because of his speed and shot-blocking ability. While I would trade both of them (or anyone else in the organization, for that matter) if the right deal came up, I could trade Dubinsky without thinking twice. There was already a similar situation when I had this mentality, when back in 2009, Dubinsky was a training camp holdout, lasting until the end of September. He became the first New York Ranger since Mark Messier to do so, and had people wondering if the move was going to cause any bad blood with teammates and management. With that now two years behind us, it seems that a deal will once again not be easy to reach.
With team defensive cornerstone March Staal having a cap hit of $3.975 million, then I would say Dubinsky and Callahan should get that amount or lower, since they are not any more important to the team’s success than Staal is. Furthermore, since both players rely on each other for bettering their play (remember how Dubinsky fell off the face of the earth when Callahan was injured?), they should get identical contracts. At this present time, I would offer them both three-year deals at $3.6 million per, take it or leave it. I think that is a very fair deal for two players who have never eclipsed 25 goals or 60 points in a single season. With teams all over the league retaining homegrown players for fair prices, why should the Rangers be the only team out there to overpay year after year? If these two players truly love playing in New York, they will accept that offer. If they are hungry for money and don’t want the deal, then by all means, go play somewhere else.