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Rangers sign Lisin, what about Dubinsky? thumbnail

Rangers sign Lisin, what about Dubinsky?

July 21, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments

It looks like Ranger fans won’t have to worry about Enver Lisin going to the KHL. The newest Ranger acquired from Phoenix straight up for Lauri Korpikoski was signed today by the club.

Thus far, no terms on what the 23 year-old Russian received. Last year, he made 850 K while scoring a career best 13 goals and 21 points in 48 games out in the Desert. That included a goal he scored on Henrik Lundqvist at MSG in a Ranger win. Ironically, Korpikoski was out for it. Is that the reason he was traded? Never mind.

With Lisin signed, that leaves Brandon Dubinsky and arbitration headache Nikolai Zherdev. While Zherdev remains a long shot to return given our cap along with his lofty opinion of himself, getting Dubinsky re-signed is a necessity. What are they doing? That’s our top center and he didn’t file for arbitration.

Please tell me they’re not going to package him for say Brad Richards, who is rumored to be on the block. Apparently, owning three teams hasn’t been wise for Tom Hicks. Richards makes an unfriendly $7.8 million average over the final two years of his contract. If the Blueshirts are interested, they’d have to unload either Michal Rozsival or Wade Redden in any deal. Given Richards’ history with John Tortorella, it’s a possibility. He hasn’t exactly lit it up the past two seasons totaling 110 points with the Lightning and Stars for a mediocre 55-point average along with a combined minus-31 rating. Hardly worth his hefty salary. Granted. Last season, the former Conn Smythe winner was hurt netting 48 points in 56 games.

Given his age (29), contract status and the fact Marc Savard will be available next summer, it makes little sense for the Rangers to pursue him. They’re better off getting Dubinsky re-upped and seeing what he can do with Marian Gaborik, who’s a similar talent to Jaromir Jagr. Dubi had success his rookie season with No.68. He sure could benefit from playing with Gaborik assuming he stays healthy. While Dubinsky’s hardly the puckmoving pivot Gabby needs, what’s the harm in finding out? He’s only 23 entering his third season.

If Tort hands the reigns over, they’ll need better production than the 41 points (13-28-41) he had in a sophomore season that saw him go long stretches without a goal. The good news is he improved under the former Lightning coach, proving to be one of the Rangers’ best players in a first round loss to Washington. He netted four points in the series including assisting on Nik Antropov’s deciding game opener before the Caps rallied to win it.

In particular, Tortorella liked Dubinsky’s work ethic. He and Ryan Callahan were two players who caught the coach’s eye. Assuming the Rangers get it done, either could be in line for an ‘A’ this Fall. They always talk about giving kids a chance and the roster has certainly changed. It was only last year that Jagr, Martin Straka, Korpikoski, Scott Gomez, Brendan Shanahan, Nigel Dawes, Blair Betts, Freddy Sjostrom, Colton Orr and Petr Prucha were all part of a team that ousted the Devils before falling to a talented Pens squad with Marian Hossa (yes! that guy) netting the OT winner. That’s only the forwards as Hockey on Paper’s Triumph notes other differences with our blueline including the nightmarish Zherdev deal that sent Fedor Tyutin to Columbus while overpaying a washed up Tinman (Redden).

How could all this have happened?!?!?!?!?! Guess that’s what happens when you go from Tom Renney to Tortorella. It’s still debatable whether all these radical changes by Glen Sather will pay off. If it seems like total chaos, we had a column earlier this month about that very topic with the GM committing three years at three million per for <gulp> Ales Kotalik. Hey. Did you hear Dawes got 1.4 M for two years with Calgary? Now that he’s got a one-way deal under a coach he’s familiar with, watch him put up around the same goal production.

Logic never has been part of Sather’s vocabulary as evidenced by the irrational deadline deal with pal Don Maloney that also cost Prucha for Derek Morris, who is still available. This is the same GM who dealt away former No.1 pick Al Montoya for fourth liner Sjostrom. Is this the year Montoya becomes a No.1 goalie in Rangers West? He also traded a second round pick to Toronto for Antropov just to lose in Round One.  Who do ya think won that one? Just another reason to hate Brian Burke.

Oh btw…with Korp gone, all we have left for Brian Leetch is Mike Sauer. That’s it. Jarkko Immonen was given a coffee cup here before headed back to Finland. Max Kondratiev was traded to Anaheim for Petr Sykora, who could be had by someone for a bargain. And Korp, who the team traded up for got one year before being swapped for Lisin. So, it’s really Lisin and Sauer for soon to be Hall of Famer Leetch. Was it worth not seeing No.2 finish his career on Broadway? Don’t answer that. Hopefully, Sauer gets his chance to sink or swim.

Here, we just want to see the team stay true by keeping one of it’s own. Trading Dubinsky would be a mistake. There’s no quick fix to this mess. I’ve said it before but this team won’t be a serious challenger until Evgeny Grachev is part of the mix along with some of our young D. Unless the 2008 third round steal blows them away in September, he’ll likely start in Hartford. Meanwhile, former second rounder Artem Anisimov should be given every shot to be the club’s third center. Precisely why it doesn’t make any sense to sign someone else.

If they’re serious about giving kids a chance, they’ve got to let them play. That’s the only way we’ll know. Here’s hoping Dubinsky is still part of the equation and not the latest pawn.

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  1. Rangers sign Lisin, what about Dubinsky? | The Battle of New York … on July 21st, 2009 7:46 pm

    [...] More:  Rangers sign Lisin, what about Dubinsky? | The Battle of New York … [...]

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