Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett Leave HC Red Bull Abruptly

By Krista Golden
Derick Brassard is catching a lot of heat after ditching HC Red Bull. Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

As though Evander Kane’s troubles with Dynamo Minsk and Kyle Turris’ recent backpedaling over comments he made about playing in Finland weren’t bad enough, we have another player who’s apparently unhappy in Europe.

Columbus Blue Jackets players Derek Dorsett and Derick Brassard, who were playing together on HC Red Bull Salzburg, have both left the team. Dorsett left the team last week after only earning one assist and 25 PIM in four games. Brassard, who had four goals and five points in six games, left Austria on Tuesday.

But it’s Brassard’s departure that’s causing the fuss in Salzburg because of an apparent breach of contract, according to a press release from HC Red Bull:

After the player, who is contracted to the Columbus Blue Jackets, cleared his things from the dressing room on Monday morning without warning, the Red Bulls tried in vain to contact him by telephone. The powers that be at the Salzburg club then contacted Derick Brassard personally to let him know that they were unwilling to let the Canadian go. He was told not to do anything hasty that he might later regret, and he was reminded in no uncertain terms of the contractual situation. Unfortunately, Derick Brassard still flew out of Salzburg this morning.

Brassard’s agent, Allan Walsh, later commented on the situation:

Derick Brassard is the fifth NHL player to sign with Red Bull this season and the fifth player to leave within three weeks of arrival. Talk to Tobias Enstrom, David Clarkson, Derek Dorsett or any of Red Bull’s current players. There is no more unprofessional organization in all of Europe. The club is misrepresenting the facts in an attempt to justify to their fans and media why NHL players keep leaving.

Speculation is that Brassard and Dorsett weren’t happy with Salzburg coach Pierre Page’s style of coaching. His demanding, provoking nature has earned him the nickname “the John Tortorella of Europe”. Dorsett and Brassard aren’t the only ones who’ve left so soon after signing with Red Bull: Tobias Enstrom (Winnipeg Jets) and David Clarkson (New Jersey Devils) both left after each played five games.

With Brassard and Dorsett returning to North America, that leaves Jared Boll in Finland, Vinny Prospal in the Czech Republic and Mark Letestu in Sweden.

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