Rangers left winger Brandon Dubinsky’s name has been prominently mentioned in trade rumors involving Blue Jackets superstar Rick Nash, but Dubinsky doesn’t expect to be dealt.
“I know this team wants me. I know how much I wanna be here. I’m pretty confident that at 3:01 p.m. Eastern Standard Time that I’ll be a New York Ranger,” Dubinsky said Monday morning, about 4.5 hours before the 3 p.m. trade deadline.
The 25-year-old Dubinsky has recorded just six goals and 19 assists in 57 games for the first-place Rangers this season. He understands he could be moved. At the same time, it’s out of his control.
“It’s part of the business. There’s guys that have been traded seven or eight times. I’ve never been traded,” Dubinsky said.
Dubinsky is approaching Monday night’s game at the Garden against the Devils just like any other game.
“There’s nothing I can say or do. I just gotta come to the rink and do what I gotta do,” he said.
“I’m getting ready to play the Devils. I went through morning skate and then I’m gonna have a pre-game meal. I’m not gonna go home and pack my bags.”
Dubinsky has heard the rumors, but he’s not going to look into them and said, “it’s all rumors and nonsense until the day that it actually happens.”
Even though he hasn’t produced the way the Rangers hoped he would, Dubinsky is ready to put the past behind him and focus on the team’s remaining 22 regular-season games.
“I’m not gonna get down on myself,” Dubinsky said. “I’m gonna go into the last part of the season and into the playoffs with a chip on my shoulder and something to prove -- because as much as anybody wants to criticize me, I’m my own biggest critic and that’s certainly something I think about more than anybody who writes about it or watches it.”
Despite Dubinsky’s struggles, the Rangers have a seven-point lead in the Eastern Conference standings.
It doesn’t appear that coach John Tortorella wants to mess with his blue-collar team’s chemistry at this point.
“I like our team. Tight group. I like our team,” Tortorella said.
“We just go about our business. I don’t try to get too involved in it. I don’t pay attention to it. I prepare the team every night the same as always.”
The Rangers would love to add a potent scorer like Nash to their lineup, but have been unwilling to meet Columbus’ steep demands in terms of young talent for the dynamic left winger, who has scored 280 career goals in 654 games.
• Tortorella said the Rangers’ lineup will remain the same for Monday night’s tilt.
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will be seeking to win 30 games for the NHL-record seventh straight season to start his career. Rookie Stu Bickel will dress on defense, which means veteran Steve Eminger will not.