Saturday, February 18, 2012
Updated: February 19, 5:52 PM ET
Brandon Dubinsky ignoring rumors
By Katie Strang
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky has heard his name involved in recent trade rumors, but knows there is nothing he can do leading up to the Feb. 27 trade deadline besides focus on his play.
Since news broke earlier this week that Columbus Blue Jackets star Rick Nash was on the trading block, Dubinsky's name emerged as a potential piece of a package to land the coveted 27-year-old winger.
Initial reports speculated that for the Rangers to pull off a trade for Nash, they'd have to be willing to part with Dubinsky, top prospect Chris Kreider and a first-round draft pick, if not more.
"The management is going to do whatever they feel they need to do in order to bring a Cup here or bring playoff success here. It's ultimately going to be their decision," Dubinsky told ESPNNewYork.com. "Us as players, we're not going to influence that other than the way we play. You can't let it creep into the locker room. If something happens, that's part of the business."
The talented and hard-nosed Dubinsky, in his fifth full season with the Rangers, has often found himself at the epicenter of trade rumors.
And with the Rangers hosting the Blue Jackets Sunday at Madison Square Garden, he knows the chatter is unlikely to subside any time soon.
"It happens every year. Maybe with the exception of last year, I feel like I've been a topic of trade rumors quite often. Is it hard? No, I don't think so. Would it be hard if it happened? Of course. I love this organization," Dubinsky said. "I've been here for a long time and put a lot of blood, sweat and tears to this team, so that would be tough. I don't look at it; I don't focus on it. They are what they are, rumors. Until the day (general manager Glen Sather) tells me I'm going somewhere, I'm going to continue to come in here and enjoy every day as a New York Ranger and continue to try to help the team win games."
"If I get traded for Rick Nash ... he's a great player. What can I do?"
Dubinsky said he has received ample support from the Rangers as his future with the organization has come into question, and despite a disappointing start -- he's been limited to six goals and 19 assists this season after leading the Rangers in scoring last year -- has been made to feel like a valuable part of the team's core.
"The organization has always been in my corner, (coach) John Tortorella and the management and everybody," Dubinsky said. "Listen, it's not like I feel unwanted here or run out of town by any stretch of the imagination."
The 25-year-old Anchorage, Alaska native has seen plenty of deadlines approach and pass. He knows that all the hype and hoopla surrounding one of hockey's biggest holidays is, often times, just that.
"It's all rumors. It happens to everybody; everybody speculates, everybody wants to talk about this, that and the other thing. It's just part of the game," Dubinsky said.
A week from Monday, Dubinsky's status will be resolved. He hopes he can put the rumors behind him and make headlines with his play instead.
"If I finish the season in a great way and have a good playoffs, this will all be forgotten."
Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPNNewYork.com.