Multiple sources today – including Bob McKenzie on Twitter – report the Rangers have placed Donald Brashear on waivers. Not that anyone should get too excited just yet. The 38 year old veteran is likely to remain unclaimed and stay with the team through the rest of this season and next.
At issue, a two year contract for $1.4 million per season, signed when the player was already past the age of 35. That means no matter where – or even if – Brashear plays next season, he will count against the Cap. Not good news for a team that already has a bunch of bad contracts on the books.
For his part, Brashear had the following to say to Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record:
“When I talked to [coach John Tortorella] this summer, he was telling me he was going to play me in different situations,” Brashear said. “I came here in shape ready to play. I thought I had a good camp. You think, why sign me for two years if youï¿½re not game to use me?”
Perhaps GM Glen Sather thought he was getting the player that leveled Blair Betts with a late – and illegal – hit in last season’s playoff series with the Washington Capitals. Or perhaps he remembers those games when he played for the Flyers and took cheap shots at the likes of Jaromir Jagr and Andrew Ward. Whatever the case, it’s clear from his performance on the ice this season that Brashear is a defensive liability, but also is no longer the fearsome pugilist he once was.
Not that that is a surprise to many of us. It was clear that Brashear has been fading for years, and the Capitals had no problem making him a healthy scratch at times last season, or letting him go for that matter.
In fact, you have to wonder who exactly Sather was bidding against when he signed him for two years at $2.4M to what is in effect a contract with a No-Move and No-Trade clause built right into it. Even when Brashear himself is the one asking for the trade.
Unfortunately the only way he’s coming off the books is if some team decides they want to claim him, or trade for him. At this stage that seems about as likely as the Rangers winning this year’s Stanley Cup.