The salary arbitration hearings for three New York Rangers players are coming up quickly. Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider and Derick Brassard will be making their cases to demand long-term deals with New York and probably ask for a good amount of money per year, but there’s only one problem as the hearings edge closer. Zuccarello and Kreider are Ranger fan favorites, as well as management favorites, and are likely to get the deal similar to what they want. Brassard, on the other hand, has no idea of his future with the Rangers.
Brassard’s name has been thrown around in multiple scenarios. Obviously, one of them would be that he’d re-sign with New York long term. It’d definitely help since he’s automatically the Rangers’ best center behind Derek Stepan. Then there’s the situation where a trade could be on the horizon. Back when Joe Thornton actually seemed like he’d be on the move (oh, how times have changed), Brassard was one of the focal points of the trade rumor.
His future as a Ranger is uncertain, but his productivity can’t be questioned. Only 26 years old, Brassard had 45 points (18 goals, 27 assists) during the 2013-14 NHL regular season and tallied 12 during this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. He was part of the fan favorite third line with Zuccarello and now Edmonton Oilers Benoit Pouliot that eventually became the most reliable line on the team.
He’s worth the $4 million a year he’s asking for. But after signing Matt Lombardi and GM Glen Sather promising that J.T. Miller will be on the team next year, you have to wonder if the Rangers are getting insurance incase they don’t re-sign Brassard. The next few days before the arbitration hearings will be critical to Brassard’s future as a Ranger.