Sunday, August 9, 2009

When we last heard from Dubinsky...

The weather is warm and the Hockey news is cold. The Rangers aren't saying much and many of our favorite sources are off the grid - relaxing on the beach or at poolside - thinking of the ice in their beverages instead of the rink.

So our thought drift back to the last time we heard from our lone remaining Restricted Free Agent - Brandon Dubinsky.

It was breakup day and the Rangers were dejectedly cleaning out their lockers after a 3-1 series lead crashed and burned against the Washington Capitals. Brandon was gracious enough to speak to the media.

He said:

“We’ve just got to find a way to put it together a little better, and I think with Torts coming in next year and having a full year with us, I think it’s going to be good for us and it’s going to be something we look forward to.”

That makes sense to us. Last year Tortorella came in to a situation where he didn't pick the team, he didn't train the team, and he had little time to make changes. Next year it seems like he's got all three: a say in player selection - he'll set the training schedule - and he's got a whole season to work with.

Dubinsky had more to say:

“We definitely had our spurts where we could have used a little more energy (due to conditioning) but I don’t think there’s going to be a lack of that next year. That’s going to be a main focal point."

He's got that right also. Tortorella was disappointed and a little surprised at how exhausted the Rangers looked at crunch time. Tort's teams tend to be in shape and they win by outworking the other guys. He's already contacted every player on the roster about getting in shape - from his rookie camp we know he still believes in working his players hard. He's the kind of coach that players don't like playing for during camp - but appreciate as they get in shape - the season wears on and they don't wear out.

So Brandon gets it. So why haven't the Rangers gotten him?

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