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Derick Brassard – the center piece

April 16, 2013, by
Brassard has a great chance to re-establish himself with the Rangers

Brassard has a great chance to re-establish himself with the Rangers

With every additional pass like the perfect defense splitter that set up Dan Girardi’s huge goal against the Islanders, Derick Brassard is positioning himself to be the Rangers second option at center beyond this season. The ramifications from each additional impressive Brassard display from here on in are huge. His form makes Brad Richards that much more of a luxury, makes Richards’ future that much more tenuous and it makes the Rangers summer that much more of a decision filled affair.

While in Columbus, Brassard flashed glimpses of skill but with careful analysis it was actually more than that. Like Rick Nash, Brassard was surrounded for the most part by subpar talent, with defensive coaches and yet was still able to put together some productive campaigns. His problems in Columbus were his ability to stay healthy and the expectations that go with being a top ten draft pick. If Brassard can stay healthy the ‘Marian Gaborik trade’ could be a rare hockey trade that becomes a win-win.

Brassard is young, talented and exactly what the Rangers need as their second line pivot – someone they can build around. He has playmaking skills to rival Stepan but would actually be a nice compliment to the Rangers home-grown center.  Assuming Brassard can keep his play up (better yet, keep improving) the Rangers would likely explore buying out Brad Richards sooner rather than later and the removal of his cap hit would be a huge aid to the Rangers future as they look to re-sign their own and keep players such as Ryane Clowe. This is why Brassard’s development is so crucial; his impact goes far beyond cementing the second line center position but has ramifications short and long term and all over the roster.

Back to the win-win element of that Gaborik trade. Out of the media scrutiny of New York, Gaborik appears to be playing with freedom and is once again productive. After losing Rick Nash Gaborik is exactly what the Blue Jackets fan base needed; an elite talent that offers hope for the future. In the package the Rangers received for the Slovak, New York recruited upside and depth. That upside though, could be substantial. If John Moore can play anywhere near to his own draft position and hype and Derek Dorsett can bring his leadership, physicality and overall package the Rangers will have pulled off a great trade despite giving up a quality talent.

It all however, begins and ends with Derick Brassard. If the Rangers can manage their young center carefully and put him in a position to succeed (Ryan Callahan as his right winger is a good start) then the Rangers have potentially hit a home run. It’s definitely trade fall out that’s worth watching long term. Consider the long term impact of Rick Nash in NYC and who knew the hockey hot bed that is Columbus, Ohio could offer so much future potential for the big market New York Rangers.


  1. Mikeyyy says:

    No pressure though.

  2. Tim B says:

    We need more players that can make excellent saucer passes. You will definitely get more scoring chances and hopefully more goals. 🙂

  3. Chris F says:


    Have you guys done a post on Fenwick statistics?

    • The Suit says:

      Dave prefers Corsi over Fenwick, but essentially they tell the same type of story.

  4. Walt says:

    Brassard can be a very good addition, but I believe that Moore is a diamond in the ruff. If he can develope at a nice steady rate, we will be six deep on defense, and all we would need is another power forward that has a scoring touch.

    Can you see Clarkson on our team, on a line with Brassard, and Kreider. That would give us a set of forwards with grit, and scoring, ala Clowe, Dorsett, Clarkson. Just a thought!!!

    • Justin says:

      Interesting thought Walt. I think Clarkson is a fit for any NHL team, 30 goal scorers with size and physicality are tough to come by, but I think someone will overpay for him and he doesn’t really fit our cap arithmetic…

    • Chris F says:

      I doubt the Rangers locker-room could accept Clarkson. Nor could the majority of the fans, myself included.

      • Joe says:

        Rangers coach John Tortorella is from the Boston suburb of Concord, Mass. but cut off any discussion of the tragedy during his pre-game meeting with the media.

        “Don’t ask,” Tortorella said brusquely when the non-hockey subject was broached with him. “Don’t ask. Don’t ask. Don’t ask.” From Rangers Rants

        This is why I can’t stand this ****! **** Him! Get the **** out of NY! We pay his salary and he won’t even answer questions about hockey and the team, then reporters want to know if his family is ok and he acts like a horse’s ASS! **** you Torts!!! I am now officially done with you and will not be renewing my season ticket next year! Grow a heart you ****!

      • Chris_in_MA says:

        There are lots of guys in the league that you ‘hate until they are on your team’.

        … Clarkson is not one of them. No thanks.

      • pavel says:

        I wish there was a rule forbidding inter division trades.
        As a fan, it’s fun to believe in an illusion of team and player rivalry in pro sports. So when a player is traded from Fish Sticks, Devils, etc to New York, it just feel false. We just spend 10 years hating a guy like Lindros, but all of a sudden we have to cheer for him?

        • Pete says:

          Well, usually when you “hate” another player like a Lindros per se, its because he impacted a game in a positive way and if he were doing the same thing for your team then it makes that player easier to root or “cheer” for. Nobody says you have to buy the guy dinner… That’s if he performs of course… *cough* Holik *cough*

          But yeah, if Clarkson hits twine over 30 times a year for the Blueshirts I’m pretty sure he will get his share of “cheers” …

          If he’s a good locker room guy and can light it up, i don’t see the issue with it as unlikely as it is to ever happen.

  5. Joe says:

    I know you canucks don’t have the gonads to post my last post it will be like a book burning and free speech will be lost. Sad day indeed!

    • Joe says:

      you don’t even know what you are giving a thumbs down to, but do it anyway. How sad! I suspect you will never know as my original comment is “awaiting moderation.”

    • Joe says:

      BOSTON!!! God Speed… My heart is with you!

      • Justin says:

        The reason it’s awaiting moderation is because you dropped about 15 f-bombs in your comment. I’ll ** it out and post it. Not the worst thing I’ve seen written about Tortorella…

        • Joe says:

          we are all adults i think people can handle it!

        • Joe says:


          • Justin says:

            Just for future reference Joe, refer to the commenting guidelines here: http://blueseatblogs.com/the-authors/commenting-guidelines/

            We don’t moderate comments that come in unless they include the F-bomb. While people are adults here and can deal with some foul language, we prefer everyone to keep their arguments rational and non-inflammatory. Even when those arguments go against the common position. Hopefully you enjoy the site and will continue to comment here!

            • Joe says:

              Fair enough I will read it immediately. But, so you know, this is too close to my heart and I get crazed. I am a firefighter in NJ and was at ground zero, and for Torts to just be this way amid this tragedy, I can’t take it, with all the rest of his crap. I apologize to you and anyone else I may have offended. I do love this site, that is why I comment at all. I tend to fly off the handle and comment without worrying about the consequences. I just have strong opinions. Right Dave?

              • Justin says:

                No worries Joe. I understand both the incident in Boston and NY sports in general can result in some strong opinions. We just want to make sure everyone here feels welcome and comfortable sharing their opinions.

                Thank you again for reading and for all of your contributions as a firefighter/first responder!

  6. supermaz says:

    I love the trade.
    Brassard plays similar to Stepan like you stated.
    Great vision, sees the ice well.
    And Moore shows great instincts and is only going to get better.
    I don’t know what Columbus was thinking. Say what you want about Sather, he has pulled off some amazing trades(see Scott Gomez ).

  7. scrangersfan says:

    Interesting comments. Keep it clean means young fans can participate in the blogging.

  8. Lou says:

    Let’s get back to hockey talk rather than ranking someone’s off-kilt comments and ramblings!

    As for Brassard (remember the substance of this article?), we should just hope he remains healthy. If he does he will be our #2 or 3 center for years. And we can look forward to Stepan, Miller and Brassard up the middle.

    As for Clarkson, I like him but gotta ask where has he been in the past 3 weeks? Cause Devils cant score! No go for me!

    There are 2 rough and tumble guys we should have gotten before and didnt – Ott from Buffalo (they wont trade him now as they build around him) and Glencross from Calgary.

    Anyone that has every played this game will tell you heart and some talent wins over better talent. If that were not the case Vancouver would have won the past 2 cups and team USA would have never beaten Russia in the Miracle on Ice!

    Clowe is a player in the right direction, but we need one on nearly every line. He’s too slow for the top line. Can Kreider be one of these? He has the size, but not the fondness to hit. Pyatt? Nope, he doesnt score. Asham? Not at all. Boyle? Could have been but prefers fine dining over beating on the opposition.
    Clearly this will be a project for the summer…but NOT Clarkson.
    I can vaguely remember another devil that we thought was gonna bring size and scoring – instead we got a wimp that collected a welfare paycheck…first name was Bobby…last name started with a H…then and HO.