Thu 11 Feb 2010
It appears that Rangers President/GM Glen Sather is ready to admit to his “$2.8 million Mistake”. TSN’s Bob McKenzie twittered that the Blueshirts had placed Donald Brashear on waivers. Interestingly enough, Brashear’s waiving comes on the same day that Andrew Gross of NorthJersey.com wrote that Brashear believes his lack of playing times is a direct result of asking for a trade.
“It just shows me they donâ€™t believe in me,” Gross wrote in article for The Record. “I ask for a trade, thatâ€™s more likely why Iâ€™m not playing any games. Usually, when you ask for a trade, they donâ€™t play you.”
While the vast majority of fans panned the move from the beginning, even the most diehard Brashear hater would have to agree with the 38-year-old enforcer as he tries to rationalize the Rangers actions.
“I came here in shape ready to play. I thought I had a good camp,” Brashear admits to Gross. “You think, why sign me for two years if youâ€™re not game to use me?”
Of course, that “why sign me” part is one every Rangers fans asked given Brashear’s despicable hit on Blair Betts during the 2009 NHL Playoffs. That same vast majority would have been very happy to see Colton Orr remain a Ranger – and those same fans will be shaking their heads as Brashear comments on Orr and the Rangers.
“At the same time, I donâ€™t really understand what they expect,” Brashear asks. “Do they want a showman like they had in Orr or do they want a guy that can play and fight?”
Whether you are pro-Orr (like me), anti-Orr, or just plain who-cares about the matter, the last word anyone would use to describe Orr is “showman”. If he were describing Sean Avery or even Tie Domi, I would agree – but Colton Orr?
After looking over Brashear’s statement, I am not so sure what is worse: that he refers to Orr as a showman or that Brashear really believes that he can play and fight?
Whether it is age or injuries, the 2009-2010 Brashear is just a shadow of the enforcer he once was. Let’s face it, Brashear has probably lost as many fights as Aaron Voros has this season. However, Voros did not come to the Rangers with the “reputation” that Brashear did.
The odds are long that anyone will claim Brashear because he still has another year on his deal. The best the Rangers can hope for is to possibly trade him for another player who has a similar contract. Even then it will probably cost the Rangers some type of prospect to bribe another team to consider taking on Brashear. A team like Atlanta, a team who is rebuilding and has salary cap space, might be “convinced” to take Brashear if the Rangers make it worth their while.
While the Rangers could send him to Hartford if he goes unclaimed, all that will do is merely waste a spot better utilized by a prospect. According to Gross, Brashear’s salary will come off the cap this year, but does not next year because he is an over-35 player.
One has to wonder if Orr, who signed a four-year deal worth $1 million per season, would have signed the same deal that the Rangers offered Brashear. Given that the Rangers were the team that gave Orr is first shot at any regular kind of playing time, it is safe to guess that Orr would have remained in New York.
However, Sather and Coach John Tortorella over-analyzed the situation – which is perplexing given we are talking about a fourth line player on a team whose coach likes to run three lines more often than not. What they did not take into account was the diminishing returns for a player like Brashear (age and perception as a “villain” after the Betts hit) as opposed to “rewarding” a player like Orr who did the dirty work (and was pretty darn good at it) without complaining about ice time and shooting his mouth off about other players.
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