So I've been watching the marathon of Rangers In 60 on MSG this Christmas evening and this last hour was last season's Game 4 against the Caps, the stellar 2-1 win in the Garden. This was the game where Tortorella sent Sean Avery out onto the ice at the end of the evening and Avery took a penalty - thus setting the snowball rolling that resulted in the loss of the series.
But I'm not addressing that now because Tortorella's egotistic, incompetent attempts at accountability have been well documented (both Redden and Kotalik deserve to go back on the shelf). Instead, I decided to post asking the question when will Sather do something to rectify his mistake of signing Donald Brashear.
Yes, I know that getting Blair Betts and Colton Orr back is an impossibility, but it is (well past) time that the team cuts ties with Brashear. The 37 year old goon has a $1.4 million cap hit for this season and next and can be replaced for half that. As the team deals with the cap crunch, dismissing Brashear goes from something we want to happen to something we need to happen.
Brashear has dealt with a variety of mystery injuries ever since he tussled with Orr earlier this season. He has still dressed for 27 of the Rangers' 37 games and has recorded one assist, 13 shots on goal, a -7 plus/minus, six fights and 58 PIM. Brashear is averaging around six and a half minutes of ice time with a low of 2:35 and a high of 11:37 (shudder).
For a point of comparison, Orr - at a $400k smaller cap hit - has played all 38 of Toronto's games. He has one goal (a game-winner), two assists, has 23 shots, is -3, has 10 fights and 82 PIM. Orr's lowest ice time is 1:28, his highest is 12:11 and averages 10 or so more seconds on the ice than Brash.
Now, that is an unfair comparison seeing as Orr is clearly entering the prime of his career and Brash is long past his. And, as I said before, there is no way to reacquire our former tough guy.
Devin DiDiomete, Hartford's resident goon, is not the answer but there are other solutions on the farm. Dane Byers proved he can keep up with the NHL pace in his five games earlier this season. He has 17 points in 26 games with five fights and 47 PIM. Brodie Dupont and Justin Soryal also have five fight majors a piece but don't have the NHL experience. All three would have less than a million dollar cap hit and have one thing that Brashear has proven he no longer has: hunger. They will do everything they can to prove they deserve a spot, checking everything that moves, standing up for their teammates and fighting when needed, not when the mood strikes them.
How much longer will Sather's stupid pride stop him from seeing the obvious? If Torts can shelve Redden - albeit temporarily - Sather should be able shelve Brashear ... permanently.