I have to be honest, I didn’t think Derick Brassard would return to the New York Rangers. As more days passed, there just seemed less and less of a chance he’d re-sign since both parties seemed pretty far off. But it turns out the Rangers were able to lock up all three players who filed for arbitration, as Brassard will be coming back for five years and $25 million.
Brassard had arguably one of his best seasons as an NHL player this past season, with a total of 45 points (18 goals, 27 assists) and being on part of the team’s most important lines. Having a playmaker like Brassard along with Mats Zuccarello on the same line showed a good amount of success. He’s a great fit for Alain Vigneault‘s system, a great passer who sees the ice well with a solid wrist shot.
At first, Brassard asking for $5 million a year didn’t sound right. With a tight salary cap and someone who was on the third line, why should a player in that situation make that much? He’s not really the best when it comes to face-offs, and Zuccarello came back for less than Brassard’s contract demands. If anything, Brassard sounded more of trade bait than a Ranger in the future.
This contract helps out both sides now and in the future. With the cap anticipated to increase each and every year, giving $5 million to a player who is entering his prime and putting up a good amount of points on a bottom six line is impressive. After the buyout of Brad Richards, Brassard becomes the Rangers’ second-best center behind Derek Stepan. He’s getting paid top six money, and now he’ll probably become a second line center.
In a very difficult offseason for GM Glen Sather and company, re-signing their most important pieces and adding some cheap role players worked out well. Brassard’s deal is a steal for his value, and will deliver the next five years.