Chris Higgins Signs with New York Rangers, Bar Is Set For Callahan and Dubinsky

Greg CaggianoSenior Writer IJuly 6, 2009

Through all the signings and speculation as to what the Rangers will do this offseason, one thing has remained constant; and that is the status of the team's restricted free agents.

Today, the first of those three RFA's, Chris Higgins, was signed by Glen Sather. Higgins was acquired in a June 30 trade that sent Scott Gomez packing to Montreal. He received a one year, $2.25 million deal.

Many people are wondering what kind of deal the other two homegrown restricted free agent Rangers, Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky, will get.

Both are deserving of a raise but not a flagrant one. Callahan has taken the Rangers to arbitration but Brandon Dubinsky cannot because of limitations in the league's collective bargaining agreement.

My personal suggestion was that they each should get close to a $2 million salary this coming season, and Higgins' signing has set the bar for that as there is now no way they can hope to get higher then what the four-time 20 goal scorer received this afternoon.

It is rumored that a deal will be worked out with Callahan before the arbitrator has a chance to hear his case and that he will be getting a deal similar to counterpart Brandon Dubinsky.

It is a tad bit surprising that deals have not been worked out but the two players know they are wanted by the franchise and should not be worrying.

Finally, Nikolai Zherdev is also taking the Rangers to arbitration in hopes of being rewarded with a salary higher then the $3.25 million he earned last season. It is thought that if he is deemed to get a higher pay check that the Rangers will walk away from him and not sign him; that is a decision that I hope they will make very soon.


Greg Caggiano is a writer on Bleacher Report covering the New York Rangers. He has a New York area sports teams blog called Metro-Sports, where you can read great articles about all professional sports teams that play in the area by a dedicated team of young writers.