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The Inevitable Occurs: Rangers Get McCabe

Via Bob McKenzie, the Rangers have acquired Bryan McCabe from the Panthers for the low, low price of Tim Kennedy and a third round pick. Larry Brooks confirmed it. In 48 games with Florida, he’s got a 5-17-22 line and is a +3 for a team with a -11 goal differential overall.

McCabe, 35, missed a month with a broken jaw a little earlier this year, but he’s been back for just over a week now. We heard the two sides had a deal in place prior to the injury, so it’s not a surprise that they consummated a trade before Monday’s deadline. McCabe will be a free agent after the season, and his cap hit for the rest of the year is a little over $1.3M according to CapGeek. I believe the Rangers still have about $3.8M in wiggle room remaining (apologies for the uncertainty).

It’s hard not to absolutely love this deal. McCabe gives the Rangers exactly what they need, and that’s a veteran, left-handed defenseman with experience running the power play, and they did so without giving up a core piece a) off the NHL roster, or b) for the future. New York still has a first and two second round picks at their disposal. It’s unclear if he’ll be uniform in time for tomorrow’s game, but they really could use him with Marc Staal out. Either way, bravo. Great trade for the good guys.

Update: Michael Del Zotto’s been sent back to Connecticut to make room for McCabe. (h/t Bleeding All Blue)

Dubinsky out 3-4 weeks with fractured fibula

Via Joe Yerdon, the Rangers have announced that Brandon Dubinsky will be out 3-4 weeks with a stress fracture in his fibula. This is bad. Yes, very very bad.

Dubinsky has been the team’s best forward by a considerable margin this season, leading the club in goals (17), assists (21), and points (38). He also averages more than 20 minutes per game, almost a full minute more than any other forward on the team, and that’s because he plays in every situation. The Rangers are already without Ryan Callahan, Derek Boogaard, Erik Christensen, Alex Frolov, and Vinny Prospal, so the last thing they needed was to lose their best player for an extended period of time.

Two things need to happen now. One, Marian Gaborik really needs to step up his game and replace some of the lost production. Two, some of that depth in Connecticut needs to come through and provide some quality minutes for the time being. The Rangers aren’t going to be able to straight up replace Dubinsky’s production, it’s going to take a team effort.

By the way, the fibula is the narrow little bone next to the tibia, which is your shin/calf bone.

Garnet Exelby in camp on tryout (UPDATE: Alexei Semenov too)

Via my pal Jesse Spector, defenseman Garnet Exelby is in camp with the Rangers on a tryout, and was skating with the team this morning. Exelby was included in Jeremy’s offseason Scouting The Market series, where his abilities as a fearless hitter and punishing crease-clearer were noted. The Blueshirts, of course, completely lack a defenseman with that skill set.

Dave previewed the defense corps earlier this week, and there appears to be too many bodies for too few spots. However, it’s entirely possible that Ryan McDonagh, Michael Sauer, and some of the other youngsters start the season in Hartford, and we can’t turn a blind eye to the doomsday scenario that has Marc Staal unsigned when the season begins. Exelby’s a decent piece of insurance, and if nothing else, he provides a little competition in camp. That’s never a bad thing.

Update by Dave: Allan Walsh is tweeting that the Rangers have also invited Alexei Semenov to camp on a tryout basis. Semenov made the team last year, where he was also invited to camp on a tryout, before declining a contract for the season. There is going to be some very healthy competition for defense this preseason, with both Exelby and Semenov in camp.

Rangers Claim Alex Auld On Re-Entry Waivers

Via Larry Brooks, the Rangers have claimed backup goalie Alex Auld off re-entry waivers from the Stars. The team will assume a $500,000 cap hit with the move, which saves them about $350,000 compared to carrying Chad Johnson.

Auld, 29, will be a free agent after the season, and is 9-6 with a 3.00 GAA and a 0.894 SV% in 21 games this year. Dallas had no place for him following their pickup of Kari Lehtonen. It’s hard not to like the move, the Rangers freed up some cap space, got a veteran backup, and can let Johnson and Matt Zaba continue to play regularly in Hartford.

Rangers Acquire Jody Shelley

Via Andrew Gross, the Rangers have acquired tough guy Jody Shelley from the Sharks. Bob McKenzie says they gave up a 6th round pick in 2011 to get him, but if they re-sign him after the season, it becomes a 5th rounder.

The 34-year-old Shelley’s not going to cure any scoring woes, but he essentially replaces the waived Donald Brashear. Unlike Brashear though, Shelley should actually be able to win a fight every once in a while. In 36 games this year, he has 78 PIM and 10 fighting majors.

Brashear Asked For A Trade (UPDATED!)

Update (12:14pm): Bob McKenzie tweets that Brashear has in fact been waived. Oh happy day.

10:01am: Via Andrew Gross, Donald Brashear apparently requested a trade a few weeks ago, and thinks that’s why he’s hasn’t dressed for 11 of the team’s last 12 games. “It just shows me they don’t believe in me,” said Brashear. “I ask for a trade, that’s more likely why I’m not playing any games. Usually, when you ask for a trade, they don’t play you.”

Brashear, who is under contract next season with a $1.4M cap hit, has played in just 36 of the team’s 60 games this season. Even when he has played, he’s barely noticeable. The addition of Brandon Prust made Brashear even more expendable, so even if they aren’t able to finding a trading partner, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was waived. Talk about a dud free agent signing.

Callahan named alternate captain

Via Steve Zipay, Ryan Callahan has been named the sole alternate captain for the time being. John Tortorella will apparently wait to see if another candidate emerges, presumably giving them the second A.

Congrats to Cally, good to see his hard work didn’t go unnoticed.

Dubinsky signs … finally

According to Andrew Gross, restricted free agent and holdout center Brandon Dubinsky has finally signed for $3.7M over two years. I guess rumors of him lowering his demands were greatly exaggerated. Obviously the Rangers caved in, so amazingly the holdout worked. Good for Brandon. He’ll make $1.7M this year and $2M next, putting his cap hit at a manageable $1.85M. “The only part that made me nervous was the thought that they might possibly trade me. I wanted to be here,” is the money quote, no pun intended.

The important thing now is that he will skate later today at the team’s practice facility. Dubinsky is a week behind the other guys, so he’s going to have to bust his tail to get ready for the season.

Update (Dave) 4:30:Some interesting numbers are starting to be made public. Steve Zipay is reporting that Dubinsky was initially requesting four years and $16 million.

The initial reports that Dubinsky was asking for $1.4 million were puzzling, as it seemed absurd that Sather would be haggling over that little money. This realization that Dubinsky wanted $4 million a year shows that it may just be about the money for him. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn’t stay too attached to him. He is not worth $4 million a year. This deal ($1.85 million cap hit) is just right.

Rangers add Prospal

Via Larry Brooks, the Rangers have signed winger Vinny Prospal to a one year deal worth $1.1M. Prospal played under John Tortorella for a few seasons in Tampa, but managed to miss out on the club’s 2004 Stanley Cup Championship while playing in Anaheim. It’s worth noting that Vinny’s best seasons have come under Torts, so maybe there’s hope for him in this system.

Me? I don’t love the move, but it’s not terrible. Prospal’s pretty much a lock for 20 goals in the run-and-gun system, and his deal is pretty cheap and easy to back out of. Plus he can fill in at center if needed. He’s essentially taking the spot vacated by Nik Zherdev, which is funny because they’re both the same kind of players: lots of talent but they disappear at times.

Zherdev heading to the KHL (UPDATE: No he’s not)

In some unsurprising news, Carp passes along a report that former Blueshirt Nik Zherdev is indeed heading home to Mother Russia to play in the KHL next year. The translated article doesn’t say much, but there’s enough there to get the point across that Nik will join Yulaev Salavat Ufa, a team that also features former Rangers Vlad Vorobiev (remember him?) and Dmitri Kalinen.

Update: Turns out he isn’t heading to the KHL, yet anyway. Via Beyond the Blueshirts, Zherdev’s agent basically denied the report.