Derick Brassard has a ton of ability and has flashed it countless times as a Ranger. Along with Mats Zuccarello and Benoit Pouliot he was part of the Rangers’ most consistent line all season, however was Brassard individually consistent enough to warrant being brought back next year?
Brassard came in from Columbus last year and was an impact player for the Rangers. Brassard was one of the few Rangers who distinguished themselves in the playoffs last season, but this year has been different as Brassard has been underwhelming in the playoffs following a streaky regular season.
Two big questions surround Brassard’s future in New York. How much of his (limited) success was a result of Mats Zuccarello’s breakout year and how much will Brassard demand to stay with the Rangers? Both questions aren’t easy to answer. The chemistry that Brassard showed with Zuccarello and Pouliot isn’t easy to measure or replicate. Secondly, given the weak free agent class this summer Brassard could make more money on the open market, if he gets there. Brassard was the fourth highest paid Ranger forward this year as he made $3.2m in salary during 2013-14.
So how much money is too much for the Rangers management? Brassard had three streaks of four games or more during the regular season – including one streak of eight games –where he failed to register a single point and those kind of streaks simply aren’t acceptable if Brad Richards leaves in the summer and Brassard is expected to step up into a full-time second line center position. Can the Rangers afford to pay a player with a habit of streaky play, upwards of $4m?
With the lack of offense the Rangers have generated against the Penguins during the playoffs the focus this summer will surely be on getting more from the roster and not with the Rangers taking more financial risks.
Does committing to Brassard represent a risk? It depends on the package and the length of the commitment but right now, there are not many sure things on the Rangers roster. Brassard has been a solid addition since arriving in New York but the money needs to be right for Glen Sather and co. to keep him. The Rangers cannot afford to make many mistakes this summer."Has Derick Brassard done enough to return next season?",