Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Dubinsky Doesn't Lack Confidence

What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet
Brandon Dubinsky (wearing visor) of the Hartford Wolf Pack
(Heather Sperrazza photo)

Brandon Dubinsky made a successful jump from junior hockey to the AHL this year, racking up 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) in 11 playoff games with the Hartford Wolf Pack this past post-season. Dubinsky has been making a mark with his intensity and attitude as well, having been twice voted "Most Irritating Player" while playing for the WHL's Portland (OR.) Winter Hawks, then supposedly flinging his sticks to the ground and walking out during a Wolf Pack practice session.

Dubinsky returned to Portland after Hartford's season ended, where Jason Vondersmith wrote the following story which appeared in yesterday's edition of the Portland Tribune:

Brandon Dubinsky’s hockey season has finally ended, and "I’m just hanging out," he says. "I have a few bumps and bruises that need to heal." Dubinsky is spending time in Portland, after which he’ll return to his hometown of Anchorage, Alaska, on June 14 and train to try to become one of the newest members of the New York Rangers.

The 20-year-old Dubinsky, after his season ended with the Portland Winter Hawks, signed with the Rangers and played in two playoff series with the team’s American Hockey League affiliate, Hartford. He had five goals and five assists and, more important, felt like he belonged among the bigger and faster pros.

"When all was said and done, they had nine (scratched) players, and I was in the lineup. That said a lot. Coaches put trust in me," says Dubinsky. "By the end of the second game, I got into a groove and felt more comfortable," he says.

The slick-passing and intense center noticed two big differences between the Western Hockey League and pro hockey. The main one: "The speed of the game — not the skating, but the decision-making," he says. "(Defensive) guys hesitate and give you room in the WHL; up there, if the puck is not off your stick, they’ll poke it away or it’ll be taken away."

Before he left Portland, Dubinsky felt he had "outgrown" the WHL and wanted to go pro. "I was surrounded by really good players (at Hartford)... who (for example) when you give the puck up to them, they’ll give it back," he says.

His contract will soon kick in. He signed a three-year deal worth $475,000 for playing in the NHL or $60,000 for playing in the AHL, plus a $500,000 signing bonus. Dubinsky will work hard to make the Rangers, especially with big money on the line. "I’m close enough now, if I put in extra work, I feel I can make (the Rangers). It’s all I have to do now," he says.

New York Assistant General Manager Don Maloney tells the Portland Tribune that Dubinsky probably would benefit from another year in the minors.

Dubinsky realizes he must show up at the Rangers’ camp "stronger and in tiptop shape." That means being more strict and disciplined about training and eating, "which has been a real struggle for me." He’s apparently ready to be a confident, feisty player at the pro level. "If you’re not, they’ll walk over you," he says. And, if he makes the Rangers, he says he’ll be ready for the media and fan scrutiny. "I’ve grown a thick skin," he says. "I can take criticism."


Anonymous alanah said...

I like Dubinsky, but then I've always been a big fan of the "most irritating player" types. Well, at least the ones who play for my team. (Jarkko Ruutu is a gem. Except, of course, to fans of every other team except Vancouver.)

6/4/06, 2:23 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

at least the ones who play for my team

That always seems to be the way it works, isn't it?

The same holds true for fighters: they're dirty, eye-gouging goons while they're playing somewhere else, but stand-up guys when they're with the home team.

By the way, the Tribune story behind the "twice voted" link is a fun one to read-- it talks about some of the stuff that Dubinsky did on the ice while he was in Portland (flipping the fans the bird, talking to the other team's goalie, etc etc).

6/4/06, 4:40 PM

Anonymous mrs. brushback said...

I can only stomach the most irritating player types if they actually produce on the ice. Dubinsky hasn't done anything to irritate me yet, but I'll be more apt to accept it from him than I would from someone like Dale Purinton.

6/5/06, 11:43 AM

Blogger Brushback said...

Whaddya mean, "produce on the ice"-- Dale's a point machine!!

Must've been Fedor Fedorov you were thinking of.

6/5/06, 6:09 PM

Anonymous G12 said...

No i don't think she was but i will say both of the above mentioned players do suck.

6/6/06, 9:12 PM


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