Anisimov versus Dubinsky?

May 16, 2012, by

Artem Anisimov still isn’t playing to the level he has the ability to reach. It is this statement that makes Anisimov both frustrating and exciting at the same time. That all said, Anisimov has provided plenty of big moments for the Rangers this off season and has quietly put together a solid playoffs even if it has been punctuated with poor games and an occasional trip to Hotel ride-the-pine.

A side plot of his offseason may be how Anisimov has pushed his teammate Brandon Dubinsky further toward the exit door. Earlier this season we discussed the potential ‘play off’ between Anisimov and Dubinsky in regard to a future with the Rangers. Both are blessed with skill and ability and both have been productive Rangers yet both have often left you hoping, expecting more.

With the Rick Nash rumours and the apparent inclusion of Dubinsky in the Nash package every man and his dog is aware that inside Madison Square Garden the lust is starting to wear off of Dubi. He’s likely in play and his future is clearly tenuous. He’s not earning his Benjamin’s.

To an extent one could have argued the same about Anisimov. However, the Russian has stepped up (somewhat) this post season while Dubinsky has first been mired in an awful campaign and secondly has now had to sit and watch his teammates work towards a Cup. Dubinsky was poor in last year’s playoffs and one point in seven this time around doesn’t inspire confidence he can do it better any time soon.

Anisimov on the other hand has produced 8 points in 13 games despite being shifted all over the line up and has come up with big plays such as the assist for Chris Kreider’s goal against the Devils. Basically, Anisimov is stepping up while his teammate Dubinsky cannot. Unfortunate for Dubinsky.

There’s every chance that this summer the Rangers revisit a Rick Nash acquisition or chase Zach Parise with a Staten Island Ferry load of Jim Dolan’s cash. Failing on both counts and there’s a strong likelihood Chris Kreider’s presence in the line up next year will become even more prominent than it already might be. In short, there appears to be less room for one of the Rangers scoring forwards next summer and right now it’s Anisimov and not Dubinsky who is doing himself a favour in regard to locking up a future in NY.

The deeper the Rangers go the more likely it is that Dubinsky can get back on the ice and impact his own future, however he’s having to watch several teammates (aka the competition) increase their chances of being prominent roster parts going forward. Dubinsky will return rusty yet he’ll need to make an immediate impact, possibly on the grandest stage of them all. Thinks are looking up for the Rangers, things look promising for Anisimov. Things ain’t looking so hot for the local Alaskan.


  1. wwpd says:

    “off season” – not yet!

  2. Zen says:

    Not a fan of either player. Both are horribly inconsistent and have one major flaw, respectively. AA is terribly (and sometimes embarrassingly) soft and Dubi seems to lack the appropriate think-speed that his teammates possess.

    Given the possible UFA signing and upcoming significant RFA raises of key members of this team (McD, MDZ, etc.), you wonder if Sather will look to unload Dubi’s horrendous contract in the off season. I personally hope so. It is not economical in today’s NHL to have a $4M bottom six player, no matter how beloved he is by some of the fan base. Get him out!

  3. MBN says:

    It would be a shame if Dubi is gone next season as he has become a favorite of many folks around here. That said, he has had a relatively poor season, and is clearly not the player a $4 million+ contract says he should be. I love Parise, and would love for the Rangers to get either Zach or Nash next season. It would seem to me the only way to do this is to clear Dubi’s salary from the books, somehow.

    I also don’t think Torts is very enamored of Dubi.

    So, “see ‘ya”!!

  4. Dave says:

    Out of the two of them, Dubi is the one in most limbo because of that contract.

    Then again, that contract might keep him around longer.

    • Mikeyyy says:

      Agreed…remember that AA is a RFA when his contract expires and is 3 years younger.

      In my opinion, AA has been a monster in the corners, and is digging out pucks everytime he is on the ice…playing like his career depends on it. Blasting lasers and making brilliant passes.

      Also in terms of position, AA is a center, and Dubi is a LW, in torts terms.

      While I like both players, AA is viable long term, while Dubi is stopping us from making a legit offer to Mr. Nash.

      • Chris F says:

        Dubinsky is traditionally a center, and he’s excelled there. This year, at wing, his production has suffered.

      • The Suit says:

        Agree with MIkeyy, Arty has really stepped up in the postseason. He’s played very well at both ends of the ice.

  5. Rob sahm says:

    Im all for dumping dubi but not at the expense of kreider or mcdonaugh

    • Ray says:

      Trust me….McD and Kreider are not going anywhere. And since we are talking about Kreider….He seems to “wait” for the puck to find him most of the time. There have been moments when he sees the puck and waits for someone else to get to it instead of chasing it. I know he just “arrived” but I truly hope Torts pounds it into him about going after that puck next season. GO RANGERS!!!!! The Kings are looking real real scary.

  6. Walt says:

    Your article makes plenty of sense, and Dubi has done a lot of this himself. To be fair, he is a center first, and played out of position this year, for the teams benefit.

    I’m not saying that Dubi may have scored more at center, but he has shown that he is versital at best. I like AA as well, but the guy is sooooo soft, and needs to gain at least twenty pounds of muscle mass on his skinny ass. Would I give up Dubi to make room for Nash, or Parise, your damn right I would, but I’m afraid that we are all having pipe dreams about these two guys.

    Parise is from Minn, will leave NJ for the Wild, and I believe that he hates the Rangers, so forget him. Nash has a very high asking price, and I’m not willing to give up McD, Kreider, Stall, Miller and a #1 for the guy, he is not worth it, period!

  7. Matt says:

    I dunno about anyone else, but I love talking player movement/salary cap/signings trades…hell anyone who reads this blog is probably the same.

    I’m a big Parise fan, and I’d like to see the Rangers go after him (with some restraint).

    This could/would possibly open up moving Dubi for younger parts.

    If you landed Parise in the 6.5-7 million range, minus the 4.2 cap hit that is Dubi, would it work, considering upcoming UFA and RFAs?

    • The Suit says:

      Think it all depends on what the cap is going to be moving forward. Some think it is coming down. Dubi would have never gotten $4M+ if the cap hadn’t had such a big increase.

    • voidoid says:

      Purely speculative roster assumptions: $65m as a cap, fourteen players currently signed at $47.9m. MDZ re-signs for around $2.8m per, a top forward prospect makes the roster (say JT Miller @ $1.275m), Kreider obviously stays up, Zucs walks, Erixon at $1.75, Prust at $1.1m, 6th/7th defense and 13/14th forward get filled around $850k per guy, Biron comes back at the same rate.

      That leaves the roster full at 23 with a cap hit about $59.5m (so $5.5m free.) Subtract Dubinsky at $4.2m and you’ve got $9.7m to work with. Not sure how Redden’s summer hit affects this, and obviously the new CBA and cap limit are completely up in the air.

      The difficult part would be getting Parise for a cap hit shy of $7m, because GMs are going to spend like drunken sailors to try to land him. I’d be surprised to see him with less than a $7.5m hit with a lot of years on the deal.

      • Dave says:

        Expect the cap to go down. I’d estimate that it will go to $59m or so…CBA negotiations and all that stuff.

        • voidoid says:

          Could they lower it that much without restructuring existing contracts? Three teams already have more than $59m tied up next year (Philly, Pens, and Boston) and a handful more are very close with a lot of guys needed to hit a 23-man roster (Sabres, Tor, SJ and Chi.)

          Seems like the CBA negotiations could get ugly again this time around…

  8. Red Stag says:

    What NHL GM in his right mind will trade for Dudinsky and his 4+ mil salary… Wake up troops!