New York Rangers GM Glen Sather seems to have this knack for avoiding arbitration with his players. Most recently this was proven true with once restricted free agents Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider, who both signed just before their arbitration dates, Kreider actually on the day of his scheduled arbitration. However, this streak of avoiding arbitration will most likely come to an end next week with restricted free agent Derick Brassard, and if I was Sather I would let Brassard go to arbitration.
Brassard’s asking price for his contract extension is $5.5 million per year and that is just a ridiculous amount of money for a 45-point player last season. If Zuccarello, who led the team in points last season with 59, accepted $3.5 million for this upcoming season, there is no way Brassard deserves even close to $5.5 million. Sather knows this, which is why I think he will actually let Brassard go to arbitration because he also knows there is no sane arbitrator out there that is going to award Brassard that much money.
Brassard and Sather are just way too far apart in their negotiations to avoid arbitration, so unless Brassard has an epiphany/sudden change of heart, because you know Sather will not change his mind, then this contract negotiation is headed right to arbitration on Monday, July 28.