Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Brandon Dubinsky Swatch Card

I love players who get under Sidney Crosby's skin. Granted, that's more than half the league's checking centers, but some do it better than others, often leading to his losing patience and dishing out some of the dirtiest hits or slashes in the modern-day game. And, with Maxim Lapierre gone, Brandon Dubinsky is the Van Gogh of that art form.

It helps that he's usually among the league leaders in face-offs won, gaining control of the puck so opponents - and mostly Crosby - have to chase it around the ice...

In recent years, however, Dubinsky has seemed content to just agitate Sid The Kid and forgot that he can also be pretty effective at producing points rather than just stopping opponents from racking them up - and against Crosby in particular, that hasn't stopped the Pittsburgh Penguins from totally owning the Columbus Blue Jackets in the past couple of years.

Dubinsky himself has gone from a 50-point threat to 41 last year and just 2 (two!!! - and both of them assists!) in 12 games this year. He hasn't scored 20 goals since doing it in back-to-back seasons with the New York Rangers (2009-10 and 2010-11), and head coach John Tortorella - who's known Dubs since his days in Manhattan and clashed with him once or twice at that time - made the difficult decision to remove the alternate captain's "A" from Dubinsky's jersey last week.

Torts' tough-love approach has worked with Dubinsky in the past, and with other stars as well (Vincent Lecavalier comes to mind, as does Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky). We'll see how this one pans out, but Dubinsky is 31 and has three more years to go on a deal that pays him $5.85M per, which means his production should be around 40, 40, 35 and 33 points for the last four years of his deal for it to be worth its value, with plus/minuses between +5 and +10 and a 52-55% face-off win percentage (he's at 48.8 this year and finished last season at 51.7).

Here he is wearing the blue jackets' beautiful third jersey from the past decade, on card #D-DU from Panini's 2013-14 Dominion set and Authentic Material sub-set:
It features a matching blue game-worn jersey swatch that could very well be from his days in New York. It's numbered 52-99.

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