The future of Brandon Dubinsky has been talked about to death. It’s testament to the talent and dedication displayed as a Ranger by Dubinsky that his future is as talked about as it is. However, what should the Rangers do? Should they keep him? How does Dubinsky impact the Rangers immediate future?
Revisiting a Rick Nash acquisition this summer is likely but acquiring the Blue Jacket should only be a serious consideration if the package is reasonable and cap space goes back to Columbus. That would make Dubinsky (once again) a leading contender for a move. At the very least, should Zach Parise decide he wants to explore free agency in July you can bet your house that Glen Sather will be inquiring about and enticing Parise to join the Blueshirts.
If either premier talent becomes a Ranger over the summer there will need to be casualties in either (or both) assets or financial space. This keeps bringing us back to Dubinsky and whether his use to the franchise going forward would best be served as a player or as a trade chip.
Keeping Dubinsky makes sense on many levels. He knows the Rangers way and the franchise inside out. He plays the system and fits the system. He’s young, physical and talented but it’s his maddening consistency that divides opinion. His cap hit is anything but ideal for what he produced this year.
With the emergence of Chris Kreider the Rangers possess a potential All Star forward with better physical attributes than Dubinsky and more offensive upside. Dubinsky’s presence on the roster would be better for the development of Kreider (and Hagelin for that matter) than the presence of either Nash or Parise. Dubinsky can be moved around the roster easier and after all, you don’t acquire a guy like Parise to play third line minutes.
The future of Dubinsky effects so much more than just the player himself and that’s what the Rangers need to consider very carefully before July comes around. What scenario is best for the current roster and the talent on it? What scenario is best for a potential repeat playoff charge? What scenario is indeed best for Dubinsky himself? There are plenty of questions this summer that begin and end with the name Brandon Dubinsky.