Monday, July 6, 2009

Bashing Brash, Day 1

Glen Sather was right, there will be cheers for Donald Brashear at MSG. Given the price increase at MSG, more and more of the diehard, knowledgeable hockey fans have been pushed out. This is not to say that there aren't some puckheads who will root for Brash - you see Redden and Poti jerseys out there, so there are misguided members of the faithful - but the vast majority will not get behind a player with Brashear's history. The cheers will come, however, from the few corporate clients that come - they don't know the game, they don't care about the game, they just want to see a little violence.

And Donald Brashear will certainly provide that. Brashear is a vicious fighter who throws punches with little-to-no regard for personal safety. When Colton Orr would just start launching punches, you knew he was in trouble. He was a more surgical striker who used his size and leverage to work in his defense while he picked his spot for the big blasts. Whether in tight or at arms length, Brash just rears back and throws. I want to trash Brash for it, but let's face it - it has worked for him. He will hit the 1,000 game mark this season, no small feat for a brawler.

The question is how much fighting will he actually do? According to, the past-his-prime brawler had just 11 fights last season and has not had more than 15 in a season since 2002. Just how prolific can he be? Glen can claim that Brashear will fit in Tortorella's system well but Brash scored double digits in goals just once in his career, back in 2000. So since he isn't about to score, what will he contribute to the system? A forecheck of high elbows, slashes and cross checks?

Aside from the outright bitch-slap to the faces of the True Blue and every player in the locker room, the decision to sign Brashear is a slap in the face of the sport. He blatantly ignores the Code on the ice but teams keep picking him up because of the success of all-out-warfare fighting style. It has gotten him suspended time after time from the NHL and even suspended for a dozen games in a league based around fighting! At the time brash put it back on the league, saying that everyone there was picking on him, trying to make a name for themselves.

I'm sorry, there is no excuse for breaking the Code. It is Brashear's readiness to denigrate our sport with his barbarity that I loathe him and won't be among those cheering when he steps out on the ice in a Blueshirt this fall or any other time.

So, each day this week, I am going to post a YouTube of the animal in action. Today's fine feature will be the Quebec senior league incident that caused the aforementioned 12 game suspension:

And Glen Sather signed this guy.


Scchask said...

He may have been an animal but here are a few facts to expand your understanding:
His coaches in junior ordered him to fight - he once scored 38 goas in junior - he was a poor kid who wanted to keep his job - opposition coaches paid some players extra to pick a fight and these guys goaded him thru the whole game. And find the long Washington Post article on his horrific upbringing - no excuses but a little better prespective.
I think he is there for Pronger's dirty stick and in the locker room for the "who cares" attitude of part of last season.

Sally said...

So what I'm hearing is you DON'T like Brashear... is that right?

Canyon of Blueshirts said...

a bit much man.. coming from a guy who loathes him as a hockey player and what he represents.

Mark Bonatucci said...


I know you will never agree but I indeed of course disagree with you strongly. Brashear does follow "the code" and he is a solid 4th line player, if you're going to have an "enforcer" on your team he's a good one to have. His ability to forecheck and cycle far exceeds the enforcers your team used to have.

I wouldn't have signed him for the money your GM did but he is a solid player, and he will fit Torterella's game plans a lot better than the guy he replaces and he will be a good influence in the locker room.

Pete said...

Horrible upbringing and crappy minor league experiences explain why this guy is such a dirt-bag, but surely do not mitigate the fact. It's not like he rose out of those situations to become an upstanding, honorable role model. He's just a thug, and he's getting paid incredible amounts of money to be a thug. He's being rewarded for not showing any character growth whatsoever.

I like fighting in hockey. I think it has a place in the game. Unfortunately, too many teams carry guys like this as their "enforcer" and overlook their worst natural tendencies for the fact that they come relatively cheap, due to their lack of real talent. The business aspect of the sport cheapens the experience for the fans and makes it dangerous for the players.

When a guy like Donald Brashear can get signed by a premier team in the league, an original 6 team to boot, it's proof that all the suspensions and fines in the world aren't going to stop the insanity. Ultimately, the league will move closer and closer towards banning fighting all together, as a means to remove the goon from the game. Unfortunately, that will only result in the increase of dirty play, and possibly dirty players, in the league.

What the league should do is impose a no tolerance policy on intent to injure; any intentional act that results in an injury to another player, or is clearly an attempt to cause bodily harm, that is deemed to be worthy of a suspension, should carry a mandatory suspension period of one year. Repeat offenders should be banned from play indefinitely. That will clean up this game and make people like Brashear obsolete. No team will want to take a chance on a loose cannon like him when there are odds that they will have to pay the jerk while he rides the pine because he is too unstable to play by the rules of both the league and of proper human conduct.

As an aside, I thought it was neat that 100 people gathered to try and convince the Canadians to keep Alex Kovalev on the roster. While it didn't help, and it probably wouldn't change anything is this case either, I think people should do the same to protest Donald Brashear being a Ranger. It's about time for the teams of this league to be reminded that the fans are their customers and their opinions should at least be heard. Obviously the fans shouldn't have a direct say in personnel decisions any more than movie-goers should have a say in who is cast in a movie. But it is a way to send a clear message to the team that the fans have bought in to a level of tradition and excellence and that the team is obviously doing things that are not living up to the fans' expectations.

Derek said...

I hate him. We all do. But it was our coach who pushed Orr out and wanted Brash so badly.

Anonymous said...

stop being a drama queen. he is a NYR now and you should support him until he proves himself worthy of hatred in from doing something in THIS uniform.

Dan LD said...

Until now, I've always been of the opnion that you never boo Rangers at home and cheer for the guys in blueshirts no matter who they are.

But this is ridiculous. Watch that clip and tell that Brashear deserves to be in the league, let alone on this team. If Phoenix or Atlanta signed to him fill the seats, fine, whatever. But this is not the kind of guy that plays on a championship caliber team (not the Rangers are one, but obviously that's what they're building towards). I still can't believe this signing. It's embarassing.

Brother P said...


3 words -GET OVER IT! If it wasn't your man crush Betts who got knocked out by Brash you would probably already be over the signing.

Scotty Hockey said...

ALl of you folks defending him, did you actually watch the YouTube? This guy is a savage who shouldn't be in the league and his signing belittles the tradition and honour that is embodied in a Blueshirt. I am proud to be a Ranger fan, the jersey stands for something and I will bitch and moan when the current powers that be trash it.

I agree that the Rangers need a enforcer now that the Flyers bulked up but there is no reason to pay a criminal more than a million dollars a year for five minutes of lumbering around the ice. Especially, as Pete said, as it helps further the anti-fighting cause in the league.

Kevin T. said...

You got to calm down and get over it. Initially I felt the same way as you, but you got to take it into perspective.
1)Torts doesn't roll 4 lines, so in reality how much ice time is this guy even gonna get?
2)I guarentee he's a healthy scratch for many games, which includes playoff games
3)Besides Colton, who else could we have gotten? How do we know Orr wanted to even stay with the Rangers? Pretty much he is a necessity to protect our two star players, especially against the Flyers' new goon squad who we have to pleasure of playing 6 times a year at least.
and finally
4)If you think he's gonna get suspended that means he cant play, so what are you worried about?

Trust me, like I said I would rather have Orr, and as far as cheering for him goes I probably wont partake, but in the grand scheme of things, if Torts thinks this is neccessary then I cant complain...yet. But the first time Pronger tries to lay out Gaborik with his mutant elbow, we'll see if Brash was worth the signing.

Noah's Art said...

scotty at least wait until you've seen him play a game for us? jesus man i don't like him either but that's because he's never played for my team. ask caps fans what they thought of him on their team (since he was playing there at the same point in his career as he'll be playing for us).

Anonymous said...

the tradition of the rangers has sadly been disappointing seasons and signings, so yes, in a way brashear does live up to the NYR tradition as we all would have rather had Orr here to stay, even at 4 years. Brashear is here now, thats how its going to be. when he does his job of being an enforcer in OUR jersey, you should applaud him, no matter what he did in other jerseys. its not lik ehe killed someone like dany heatley. if he crossed the line as much as marty mcsorley, he wouldnt be in the league.

Chris said...

I must say that at first I was just as upset about this signing as your are, Scotty. And Im still pretty pissed... but Ive cried my river and already built my bridge to get over it.

I wouldve much rather kept Orr. But at least he will get his shot on a team that will give him more icetime. Meanthiwle, Brash likely wont be seen all too often. We needed someone to step into the 'enforcer' role... and the market for enforcers is rather slim.

griffie said...

Marty McSorley and Chris Simon were both Rangers. Both players engaged in dangerously violent actions on the ice in their careers. Did they disgrace the Rangers after the fact with their hideous stick attacks that occurred years later, when each player wore another team's jersey?

You're still really pissed about him taking Betts' head off...I am too, but I am realistic about the current state of hockey. If you need a fighter, why not have the most vicious one? Deplorable from a moral standpoint, but again we're dealing with reality rather than an abstraction. The Flyers '09-'10 roster is going to rival their mid-'70s squads in terms of on-ice violence and borderline criminality. The Rangers have to protect themselves by any means necessary.

Brashear is a violent man--there should be no surprise that the league's toughest heavyweight is partly insane. It's a job that would make anyone a lunatic, let alone a player who has done this job for sixteen years.