Early Morning News: Rangers sign Prospal

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News on Dubinsky and Messier

Larry Brooks of the New York Post had a busy morning, reporting that the Rangers have signed former Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vinnie Prospal to a one-year $1.1 million contract. The 34 year-old was recently bought out by the Lightning and is familiar with John Tortorella, having played for him before and after the 2004 Stanley Cup Championship.

Prospal is coming off a slow year, scoring 19 goals and 26 assists, but has shown the ability to be a fairly consistent 20+ goal scorer. A natural winger, Prospal can also play center and may get an opportunity at first line if Brandon Dubinsky doesn’t fit the bill.

Speaking of Dubinsky, Brooks is also reporting that negotiations have hit a snag and it appears that Dubinsky is destined to play the season on his one-year qualifier for $698,500 so long as he doesn’t sign an offer sheet elsewhere. That would save the Rangers considerable cap space this season and the opportunity to sign Dubinsky to an extension during the season.

Finally, Mark “The Captain” Messier will be re-joining the Rangers organization as special assistant to GM Glen Sather. This full-time position is likened to the role that Steve Yzerman is playing with Detroit.

More this evening…