Once again, I've decided to steal from Fear The Fin's outstanding trade targets idea. You can see all of The Copper & Blue's trade targets here.
The first trade target that The Copper & Blue investigated was Stephen Weiss. Weiss was a primary target because he brought many things to the Oilers that don't exist on the current roster -- an affordable, outplayable contract, a legitimate NHL center, and a center that can win faceoffs -- acquiring Weiss fixes two years of roster holes in Edmonton. The second target is in the same vein, a real NHL center that can bring depth down the middle for the Oilers.
Brandon Dubinsky has pulled off the difficult task of being an underrated player during his time in New York. While the stars making the big bucks (Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Jaromir Jagr, Marian Gaborik, Henrik Lundqvist, Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival) and the headline-grabbing runt make all of the noise, Dubinsky has remained quietly effective. Even his young teammate Ryan Callahan has grabbed more headlines because of his bone-crunching hitting ability.
#17 / Center / New York Rangers
Apr 29, 1986
|GP||G||A||P||EV +/-||QC Rk ||QT Rk ||Corsi RK ||ZS Rk ||FO%||SOG||PCT|
|2007 - Brandon Dubinsky
|2008 - Brandon Dubinsky||82||13||28||41
|2009 - Brandon Dubinsky||43||13||18||31||+10||5/11||6/11||2/11||5/11||52.7
Dubinsky has been taking on second and third-level minutes for the last three years with mostly second-level teammates and second-best zonestarts. His Corsi has been top-notch and he's been outscoring. His faceoff percentage is sparkling, something the Oilers desperately need.
Dubinsky has also been recognized as the Rangers best penalty killer over the last two years, but a closer looks reveals that he's riding one heck of a lucky streak when killing penalties. During the 2008-2009 season, Dubinsky averaged 59 seconds per game on the penalty kill, 6th most on the Rangers. He played 80 short-handed minutes for the season and during that time, the Rangers gave up...one goal. It's an amazing number, especially considering that the Rangers scored two goals in those 80 minutes. Dubinsky's GAON/60 was a microscopic .74 - mind-bogglingly low. Dubinsky had a bit of help in that department, as his penalty kill save percentage while on the ice was .982, six points higher than the next highest Ranger, Chris Drury. In 2009-2010, Dubinsky is averaging 2:12 per game on the penalty kill, third most on the Rangers, and his GAON/60 is 3.88, not nearly as impressive as last season, but still an amazing number in it's own right. The Rangers have given up only seven power play goals with Dubinsky on the ice. His SVPCTON this year is .901, second highest on the team and still above the norm for standard NHL penalty kills.
Brandon Dubinsky is yet another example of a player that the Oilers desperately need -- a second minutes player that can contribute offensively, is effective on the penalty kill and is superior in the faceoff circle. Unless the Oilers believe that Chris VandeVelde can make the jump from North Dakota to the penalty kill next year, they need to be aggressive in trading for someone like Weiss or Dubinsky.
What will it take to land Dubinsky? Assuming that Daryl Katz is being honest and Steve Tambellini will bury salary in the minors, Edmonton should take advantage of the Rangers cap issues (the Rangers are at $45,500,000 already next year and need to re-sign Enver Lisin, Daniel Girardi and Marc Staal) and pluck Dubinsky away for some inexpensive contracts. Dubinsky is signed through the 2010-2011 season for $1,875,000 and will likely get a hefty Dave Bolland-type raise. Would Andrew Cogliano and Ladislav Smid be enough to get Dubinsky out of New York? I think that's close, and if that's the price, I pull the trigger.