Tag Archives: Brandon Dubinsky

FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

bruce mug shot 1BY: Bruce Berlet

After a disappointing end to a career/injury-plagued season, it has been a summer to remember for New York Rangers right wing Ryan Callahan.

The former Hartford Wolf Pack standout had NHL highs in goals (23), assists (25), points (48), power-play goals (10) and game-winning goals (five) last season despite missing 22 games with a broken wrist and ankle from doing what he is among the best at doing, blocking shots. Between the injuries, Callahan helped Team USA win a silver medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, and later earned the Players’ Player Award, as voted by his teammates, and the John Halligan Good Guy Award, selected by the New York chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association to recognize players’ cooperation with the media.

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

bruce mug shot 1BY: Bruce Berlet

The New York Rangers remained in a signing mode Thursday as they agreed to terms with first-round pick J.T. Miller on a three-year entry-level contract.

The signing of the 18-year-old forward from East Palestine, Ohio, came a day after the Rangers re-signed former Hartford Wolf Pack right wing Ryan Callahan to a three-year, $12.825 contract, wrapping up the team’s core players for at least several years.

Within a week, the Rangers also signed Callahan’s former Wolf Pack linemate, Brandon Dubinsky (four year, $16.8 million) and veteran defenseman Steve Eminger (one year, $800,000). The signing of Dubinsky and Callahan prevented the Rangers from having to go to salary arbitration for the first time since they walked away from a $3.9 million award to Nikolai Zherdev in 2009. The Rangers earlier re-signed former Wolf Pack defenseman Michael Sauer and center Artem Anisimov, re-signed unrestricted free agent wing Ruslan Fedotenko and added free agent center Brad Richards and forward/enforcer Michael Rupp. They also re-signed Connecticut Whale right wings Dale Weise and Chad Kolarik, and the Whale re-signed forward Kelsey Tessier and defensemen Jared Nightingale, Blake Parlett and Stu Bickel and signed forward Kale Kerbashian.

Miller, the 15th overall pick on June 24, accelerated his path to the NHL even before signing Thursday when he recently reconsidered playing at the University of North Dakota. Though he is eligible to play for the Whale because he was drafted out of the United States Hockey League, Miller most likely will spend this season with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. By playing in juniors, his contract would slide back via terms of the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement.

Miller, who participated in the Rangers prospects camp the week after being drafted, led Team USA in scoring (four goals and nine assists in six games) as the Americans won the gold medal at the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation U-18 World Championships in Germany. He tied for third in tournament scoring and was named the top player on the U.S. team by tournament coaches.

Last season, Miller had career highs in goals (11), assists (26) and points (37) in 48 games for the U.S. National Under-18 Team. He also had two goals and three assists in four games at the Four Nations Cup in Sundsvall, Sweden, and added one goal and five assists in four games in the Five Nations Tournament in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Miller has 26 goals and 42 assists in 95 games in two seasons with the U.S. National Development Team. In 2009-10, he set USHL career highs in goals (15) and power-play goals (four) and added 16 assists in 46 games with the U.S. National Under-17 Team. He also helped Team USA to first place at the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Timmins, Ontario, with a team-high five goals and finishing second on the team in scoring with nine points.

By opting not to play college hockey, he will be able to skate with the Rangers in training camp, which starts Sept. 15 at the team’s training center in Greenburgh, N.Y., and begin to get a better idea of how he measures up against NHL players. Before that, Miller will participate in the prospects tournament Sept. 10-14 in Traverse City, Mich.

PROSPECTS TOURNAMENT ON MSG NETWORK

If Whale fans want to get an early look at Miller and some of their favorites this season and in the future, they’ll be able to see them in mid-September when MSG Network televises the prospects tournament. The Rangers will play in the Gretzky Division against St. Louis on Sept. 10 at 7 p.m., Dallas on Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. and Carolina on Sept. 13 at 3:30 p.m. There also will be a classification game on Sept. 14 based on records from the Gretzky and Howe Division, which includes teams from Detroit, Buffalo, Columbus and Minnesota. The final day will feature the top seeds in the championship game, as well as the other teams in the third, fifth and seventh place games.

Coverage will include behind-the-scene access to the Rangers coaches and scouting teams and interviews with the prospects. Among the Rangers prospects expected to play are goalies Jason Missiaen and Scott Stajcer, defensemen Dylan McIlrath, Tim Erixon and possibly Mikhail Pashnin (if he signs) and forwards Miller, Carl Hagelin, Ryan Bourque, Christian Thomas, Tommy Grant, Andrew Yogan and Jason Wilson. The previous 13 tournaments have included future Rangers such as Dubinsky, Callahan, Sauer, Anisimov, Derek Stepan and former Wolf Pack players Marc Staal, Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh. The NHL Network also might show some games.

SATHER BACKS REFERENDUM

The New York Islanders have a major rival in their corner as Long Island hockey and non-hockey fans prepare to vote Monday on a referendum to create a state-of-the-art sports entertainment destination center that would include a minor-league ballpark and be built adjacent to the 39-year-old home of the NHL team, Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale.

Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather issued a statement through the team Thursday that said, “The rivalry that has existed between the Rangers and Islanders for almost 40 years is one of the best in hockey and in all of sports. The intense passion and emotion involved in these games is something we cherish and would like to see continue for generations to come. We urge Rangers fans, Islanders fans and all hockey fans in Nassau County to vote yes for the referendum on Monday, August 1.”

So for at least a few days, there will be no “Potvin —–” chants from Rangers fans as backers of the project push for passage of the referendum, the first step in replacing the antiquated Nassau Coliseum. Taxpayers would own the new arena, as well as surrounding development rights. If the plan is approved, it will create more than 1,500 construction jobs and more than 3,000 permanent jobs in Nassau County. The Islanders would pay all construction fees over and above the initial $350 million cost, as well as all costs that are related to the planning, designing and architecture of the new coliseum.

DEVILS, ISLANDERS SWAP VETERAN FORWARDS

The New Jersey Devils traded veteran forward Brian Rolston to the Islanders for former Bridgeport Sound Tigers wing Trent Hunter on Thursday.

The move will save the Devils a little more than $3 million in salary cap space this season. Hunter has two seasons left on his contract, which pays $2 million per season.

“Every deal is different,” Islanders general manager Garth Snow told NHL.com. “This took a lot of conversations, and we’re extremely happy to finalize the transaction to bring Brian Rolston to the New York Islanders. We’re gonna look at every option to make our team better. Like this transaction, if we can find a player that will help us get to the next level, we’ll pursue it.”

The move by Devils GM Lou Lamoriello will help to re-sign restricted free agent wing Zach Parise to a long-term deal. Parise is scheduled for an arbitration hearing on Aug. 3.

“It was as much a business trade as anything,” Lamoriello told Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger in New Jersey.

Rolston, 38, had 14 goals and 20 assists in 65 games last season and waived the no-trade clause in his contract to join the Islanders.

“I think on the ice, he’s a player that can play the point on the power play and he has a cannon from that position,” Snow said. “He kills penalties, he’s got great leadership qualities and he’s a great veteran presence for us in the locker room. Tremendous work ethic and still a very strong skater. We’re excited to have him as an Islander now.”

“It’s been a rough ride in Jersey,” Rolston told The Star-Ledger. “I’m actually happy to go to a place that wants me.”

Hunter, 31, joins the Devils after nine seasons in the Islanders’ organization. He has 99 goals and 130 assists in 459 NHL games. A sixth-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in 1998, he was acquired by the Islanders on May 23, 2000. He played two seasons with the Sound Tigers before joining the Islanders for good in 2003 and was limited to only 17 games last season because of a torn MCL, finishing with one goal and three assists.

MACTAVISH TO COACH WOLVES?

TSN reported former Edmonton Oilers coach Craig MacTavish will be named the new coach of the Chicago Wolves.

MacTavish, whose 16-year playing career included winning the Stanley Cup with the Oilers and Rangers, coached Edmonton for eight seasons (2000-01 to 2008-09) and got the team in the playoffs three times, including a memorable run from the eighth seed in 2006 to the finals. In 656 games, he was 301-252-47-56.

MacTavish has worked as an analyst with TSN since being let go by the Oilers. The Wolves are now affiliated with the Vancouver Canucks, whose long time AHL team, the Manitoba Moose, moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland, and will be affiliated with the new Winnipeg Jets, formerly the Atlanta Thrashers.

ECHL RETURNING TO TRENTON

There will be an ECHL team in Trenton, N.J., this season after all.

Three weeks after the Devils announced they would cease operations of the ECHL franchise, the ECHL Board of Governors unanimously approved a new membership application of the Trenton Titans for admission to the league.

Blue Line Sports LLC of Lawrenceville, with Rich Lisk serving as managing partner, announced Thursday that the new ownership ensured hockey remains in Trenton and will return to its roots as the city joined the ECHL as the Titans in 1999 and won the Kelly Cup in 2005. They will play their games in the Sun National Bank Center and take over the schedule set for the Devils in late April.

“We are extremely pleased that this ownership group has stepped forward to keep professional hockey in Trenton,” ECHL commissioner Brian McKenna said. “We all understand that there is an extraordinary amount of work to be done prior to the season but have confidence that under the leadership of Rich Lisk and his team that the market can once again be a strong member of the ECHL.”

Lisk said, “Having been involved with the original Titans, and what we were able to bring to the Greater Trenton community back then, this is the chance of a lifetime for me. With my staff, I can’t wait to see the smiling faces of fans in the Sun National Bank Center. To those fans, we say, this is your team. From our ownership, through our front office and on-ice operations, we’re all in this together. The Titans are back.”

There was a Titans team in Trenton from 1999 to 2006 before the Devils purchased a majority interest in the franchise on Sept. 21, 2006. The team continued to be affiliated with the nearby Philadelphia Flyers for the 2006-07 season before the NHL Devils took it over and changed the name to Trenton Devils.

Since then, the team has been plagued by steadily declining attendance. The Trenton Devils finished last in the 19-team ECHL last season with an average attendance of 2,390 in a building that holds 7,605 for hockey. A source said the team lost money every season since the Devils assumed ownership. Plus, only a handful of players – defenseman Olivier Magnan and forwards Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond and Brad Mills among them – made the jump from Trenton to Lowell/Albany of the AHL to even play in a few games for the NHL team also hampered the ECHL team’s ability to draw fans from an area loyal to the Flyers.

Trenton entered the league in 1999-00 and averaged 5,020 in attendance in their championship season. The new ownership group is working on a deal to become an affiliate of the Flyers again. The ECHL will have 20 teams this season, an increase from 19 last season. … The ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers signed former Wolf Pack forward Paul Crowder. The 6-3, 200-pound Crowder led the Nailers in scoring (four goals, 11 assists) in the team’s run to the Eastern Conference semifinals in the spring. In the regular season, he had eight goals and 16 assists in 36 games with the Utah Grizzlies and Nailers. Before joining the Nailers, Crowder had 12 goals and 14 assists in 76 games with the Wolf Pack in 2009-10. He also had three assists in 11 games with the Wolf Pack in 2009 after completing his collegiate career at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, where he had 32 goals and 48 assists.

SATHER SPEAKS

New York RangersNew York Rangers president and general manager, Glen Sather has released a statement on the upcoming Nassau County Referendum. It reads as follows:

“The rivalry that has existed between the Rangers and Islanders for almost 40 years is one of the best in hockey and in all of sports.   The intense passion and emotion involved in these games is something we cherish and would like to see continue for generations to come.   We urge Rangers fans, Islanders fans and all hockey fans in Nassau County to vote yes for the referendum on Monday, August 1″.   – Glen Sather

What are your thoughts? Do you think it’s going to pass? Do you support the referendum or do you not?

FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

bruce mug shot 1BY: Bruce Berlet

Mission accomplished for New York Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather.

Sather entered the offseason hoping to keep his core of marquee players intact for at least several years, and that goal was finalized Wednesday when former Hartford Wolf Pack right wing Ryan Callahan signed a three-year, $12.825 contract, averting an arbitration hearing in Toronto on Thursday. He will receive $4 million the first two years and $4.825 million the final year.

It seemed a fair price for both parties after Callahan was the Rangers’ second-leading scorer last season to former Wolf Pack linemate Brandon Dubinsky with career highs in goals (23), assists (25) and points (48) despite missing 22 of 82 games because of injuries. Callahan also continued to be one of the NHL’s leading penalty killers and shot blockers, which led to a broken hand and ankle, the second coming in an April 4 game and ending his season. And consider this: The Rangers were 14-3-1 when he scored and 24-7-1 when he had a point.

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CALLAHAN GIVES JOHN HANCOCK TO GLEN SATHER AND RANGERS

New York RangersAs has been widely reported, Ryan Callahan, the New York Rangers’ final free agent has signed for three years at an average of $4.275M to the cap or a total of 12.825M. He’ll receive $4M the first and second year and then $4.825 in the out year.

The Rangers did not give their future captain a no-move/trade clause. Callahan told Andrew Gross of The Record that he, “Didn’t see a need in a three year deal.”

Gross also Tweeted that the Rochester, New York native is ecstatic to be back in the Red, White and Blue, “I’m thrilled to be back for three years. I love playing for the Rangers.”

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FAN-FARE with ADAM GAVRIEL

OUT WITH THE OLD – IN WITH THE NEW

New York RangersBY: Adam Gavriel

After re-signing RFA Brandon Dubinsky and UFA Steve Eminger this past week, the New York Rangers have seemingly one major move left to make, re-signing RFA and future captain Ryan Callahan. With $4,977,166 left in available cap space to re-up Callahan, not including the $6.4 million extra they can extend the payroll on the summer cap, finding the money to get the job done is not an issue for Glen Sather.

As a side note, the only team that appears to be taking advantage of the summer cap float seems to be the Buffalo Sabres who are now operating at nearly $3.6 million over the $64.3 million cap.

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

bruce mug shot 1BY: Bruce Berlet

The Connecticut Whale likely will have another young candidate for the blueline this season.

Mikhail Pashnin wasn’t scheduled to play for the New York Rangers in the prospects tournament next month, but that could change after the 22-year-old defenseman decided to continue his career in North America.

The Rangers’ seventh-round pick in 2007 will not renew his contract with CSKA Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia, opting to go to New York to pursue his dream of playing in the NHL, according to CSKA general manager and former Rangers forward Sergei Nemchinov.

FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

bruce mug shot 1BY: Bruce Berlet

The New York Rangers’ Summer of Success continued Thursday on several fronts.

The Rangers again averted often contentious salary arbitration, and this time it was with former Hartford Wolf Pack forward Brandon Dubinsky, their leading scorer last season.

Before a scheduled arbitration hearing in Toronto, Dubinsky signed a four-year, $16.8 million contract, leaving former Wolf Pack linemate Ryan Callahan as the only restricted free agent still to be signed. The Rangers hope to get a deal done with one of their alternate captains and expected successor to bought-out Trumbull native Chris Drury as captain before his scheduled arbitration hearing next Thursday.

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DUBINSKY IN FOR FOUR, CALLAHAN UPCOMING

New York RangersFormer Hartford Wolf Pack centerman and current New York Ranger stalwart Brandon Dubinsky has resigned with the team for a reported four years for $16.8 million, a $4.2 million cap hit avoiding arbitration.

This is a huge signing for the team and for Dubinsky who had a big season for the Rangers in the last campaign leading the club in goals, assists and points (24-30-54), while establishing career highs in each category.

Up next for the Rangers is turning their attention to the likely new team captain, and former Hartford Wolf Pack right winger, Ryan Callahan. Expect Callahan to land somewhere in the $4.5 – $5.o million range for around the same contract length…perhaps a year longer to try and minimize having to go through both he and Dubinsky hitting free agency at the same time.

Here’s the official release from the Rangers:

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FAN-FARE: BUILDING A CORE

New York RangersBY: Adam Gavriel

In John Tortorella’s first off-season as Rangers’ head coach he began preaching the idea of the team developing a, “Core,” the idea of getting young and staying young, building a team together and eventually turning it into a perennial winner. That was during the 2009 off-season. Today, 2 years later, waiting for the season to begin, the Rangers have one of the best “core” of young talent in the NHL in place. That groups is complimented by two superstars on the team’s top line.

The primary homegrown core who were all drafted and nurtured by the organization consists of Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal, and Dan Girardi; with honorable mentions to Michael Sauer, Derek Stepan, and Artem Anisimov. From outside the franchise came Brian Boyle, Brandon Prust and Ryan McDonagh.

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