It may be the depths of summer, but the news out from the New York Rangers today drew me back to the ice.
My favorite Ranger, Derick Brassard, was traded to the Ottawa Senators along with a 7th round pick in 2018, for Mika Zibanejad and a 2nd rounder in 2018.
I’m not trying to hate on Zibanejad – the 23-year-old had back to back twenty goal seasons, and like I said he’s my age so I’m not trying to be mean here.
However, Brassard was one of the best position players the Rangers had. He led the team in goals with 27, more than Zibanejad, and was best known for his passing. He tied for 3rd on the team in assists and his 31 assists helped the Rangers make the playoffs again.
He centered the top line for the Rangers, and while people would complain he didn’t have the size to be a top line center, he did whatever was asked of him. As someone who was fortunate enough to cover the team for a year, Brassard was also a fantastic clubhouse guy. He would stay until your last question was answered. He would always pour praise on his teammates and his goals were always about helping the team do better, not padding his own stats.
Maybe that’s what makes this so hard. Maybe it’s the fact that New York is losing not only an incredibly talented hockey player, they’re also losing a key piece of lineup and a great guy.
Brassard might be the most famous for his relationship with now former teammate Mats Zuccarello. Look at what this trade is doing to Zucc!
I may or may not have teared up over that picture…
Besides that, Brassard, as I mentioned before, was my favorite player. I have his jersey that will now probably rest in my closet and I have this shirt that Max gave me for my last birthday that I love to wear (hence the wrinkles since I wore in this weekend).
I admired his skill, his toughness despite his size, his talent, his personality and all that he brought to New York. Thanks for the memories and the fun Brass – I’ll always remember your incredible season in 2014 that got us the President’s Trophy and so close to the Stanley Cup.
The Senators are getting a hell of a player and a hell of a guy, we’ll miss you Derick. Even though this is probably exactly what you’ll do to us…