Glen Sather was burning the midnight oil last night, as he acquired center Todd White from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for disgruntled enforcer Donald Brashear and perennial AHLer Patrick Rissmiller. Rissmiller, at a $1 million cap hit, was headed to Hartford for a third straight year, while Brashear’s $1.4 million cap hit was going to stay on the books for the Rangers, regardless of where Brashear played 35+ contract). White has one year remaining at a $2.375 cap hit.
To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what the Rangers gain from this trade, unless there is another one coming. Yes, the Rangers got something decent for absolutely nothing. But, the Rangers take on a larger cap hit from this trade, an extra $900,000 (Rissmiller is not included in this math since he was always destined for Hartford), for another forward. I understand that White had a few good seasons when playing with Ilya Kovalchuk, and maybe the Rangers are hoping White can regain that form playing with Marian Gaborik. What this does do though, is take a roster spot away from a youngster, possibly Dale Weise, or maybe even Mats Zuccarello-Aasen.
I’m on the fence about it, it’s not a bad trade, but it’s puzzling. After some thought, the team is definitely better now than it was before the trade. White means that Brian Boyle might be Hartford bound, with Dale Weise and Derek Boogaard rotating as the 13th forward. The Rangers also lose two huge cancers in the Hartford locker room. The deal is another solid trade. It’s amazing how Sather pulls these off.
The Thrashers, meanwhile, have placed Brashear on waivers with the intention of buying him out, which will save them money, but not cap space, which they have plenty of anyway.
Several Twitter posts have said the Rangers waived Donald Brashear, Aaron Voros, and Patrick Rissmiller. There are rumors of them being bought out, but the only one that makes sense to buyout from a salary cap perspective would be Voros. Rissmiller hasn’t been with the team since he signed his contract, and a buyout would just add an unnecessary cap hit. A Brashear buyout won’t save any money, as he is on an over-35 contract. A Voros buyout would result in a $400,000 cap hit this season ($600,000 savings), and a $300,000 cap hit next season, when Voros would be off the books.
I do not believe these players were waived for potential buyouts, but waived to create cap room. Waiving Brashear saves the Rangers $100,000, and Voros saves the Rangers $1 million. Waiving Rissmiller is a technicality, as his salary has never counted against the Rangers cap hit. That’s $1.1 million saved by waiving them. It’s a simple matter of clearing cap space, much like what the Rangers did at the trade deadline.
In a rather, and somewhat rare, candid interview with Larry Brooks, Glen Sather has disclosed some of the Rangers offseason plans. There are a few soon-to-be free agents that Sather mentions specifically, which is something of a rarity for NHL clubs.
On Donald Brashear:
“I told Donald this week that he would not be playing for the Rangers,” Sather told Slap Shots. “After the statements he made, absolutely not; that was the end of it.”
This isn’t much of a shock to Rangers fans, as it was assumed that the aging enforcer would not be back after being demoted last season. The Rangers will still have $1.3 million of his $1.4 million cap hit on the books, as per the current CBA stipulations.
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Update (12:14pm): Bob McKenzie tweets that Brashear has in fact been waived. Oh happy day.
10:01am: Via Andrew Gross, Donald Brashear apparently requested a trade a few weeks ago, and thinks that’s why he’s hasn’t dressed for 11 of the team’s last 12 games. “It just shows me they don’t believe in me,” said Brashear. “I ask for a trade, that’s more likely why I’m not playing any games. Usually, when you ask for a trade, they don’t play you.”
Brashear, who is under contract next season with a $1.4M cap hit, has played in just 36 of the team’s 60 games this season. Even when he has played, he’s barely noticeable. The addition of Brandon Prust made Brashear even more expendable, so even if they aren’t able to finding a trading partner, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was waived. Talk about a dud free agent signing.
As per Steve Zipay, scratched again will be Donald Brashear, with Aaron Voros joining him in the Prucha Box. Coach John Tortorella is playing with the lines tonight against Washington, putting the newly acquired Olli Jokinen between Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky, who is shifting to wing. Erik Christensen will center Vinny Prospal and Marian Gaborirk.
It’s good to see that Torts is, at least attempting to, spread the scoring out. A front loaded line of Prospal-Jokinen-Gaborik will always draw the top defensive pairing. By spreading it out, you make other coaches rethink that strategy. Yes, Gaborik will still draw top defensive pairings, but maybe the combination of Dubi-Jokinen-Cally can spark the Rangers offense.
Oh wait, there’s a game tonight. Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust will be making their Ranger debuts tonight, wearing numbers 12 and 8, respectively. To make room for them in the lineup, Donald Brashear will be scratched again, as will Enver Lisin. Lisin didn’t play poorly in his “return to the lineup” over the past few games. But, dare I say that Aaron Voros has earned his playing time? I do dare. He has, and deserves to be in the lineup.
Andrew Gross is reporting that Ales Kotalik and Donald Brashear will be scratched again tonight against Tampa Bay. This will be the third straight game that the Rangers have $4.4 million in cap hits sitting in the Prucha box. There has to be a better way to spend that money.
As per Andrew Gross, Ales Kotalik will be scratched tonight for the third time this season. Kotalik has been even less than I thought he would be, which is tough because I didn’t expect much. Donald Brashear will be a scratch tonight also, and Chad Johnson will make his second start of his career.
Enver Lisin and Aaron Voros, who have been the most common Prucha victims, are getting some playing time at the expense of Brashear and Kotalik. What a fantastic way to spend $4.4 million.
Never short on criticism of Rangers GM Glen Sather, Larry Brooks of the NY Post has called out Slats and says it’s time to admit some big mistakes.
If it is true that pride goes before the fall, then if Glen Sather is too proud to admit his mistakes in signing Wade Redden, Michal Rozsival the second time and Donald Brashear, he has no place running the Rangers any longer.
Brooks is dead on here, for the most part. It has become abundantly obvious that the Rangers are, at best, a mediocre team. It is time that Slats admits his mistakes and cuts ties with the albatross twins and Donald Brashear. Sending the albatross twins to Hartford will clear $11 million in cap room, but unfortunately sending Brashear down won’t clear his entire salary, just $100,000, as per the CBA and 35+ contracts. Clearing that $11 million will give the Rangers much needed cap room to improve the blue line in the short term during the off season, or at the trade deadline.
The Rangers will not be a better team if these three are banished, but they will not be a worse team either. Rozsival and Redden have proven time and time again that they are inconsistent and unreliable. It is truly unfortunate, as I expected Rozsival to be a rock this season. Redden was also showing signs of improvement, but his play has tapered off and he was benched for two games. Although I initially praised Brashear, he has proven me wrong, and shown that he is useless. Hey, I can’t get them all right.
Replacing Brashear is relatively easy, and can be accomplished by inserting Aaron Voros or by calling up Dane Byers for a more permanent stay. Replacing the albatross twins though, is actually harder than it seems. Ilkka Heikkinen appears to be ready to contribute at the NHL level, but it is clear that Bobby Sanguinetti needs another full season at the AHL level. Where would the Rangers get the sixth defenseman from? It’s an interesting debate, and there doesn’t appear to be an in-house solution. Maybe Mathieu Dandenault? He’s not really impressing in Hartford, he’s the best solution available thus far.
It is highly unlikely that Sather demotes any of the three, but clearing cap space is the first step to fixing the Rangers defense.
Lost in the excitement of yesterday’s game was the fact that Chris Drury is on his way back. That’s great news. But who do the Rangers bench? You can’t bench P.A. Parenteau. He’s been terrific. It comes down to Aaron Voros or Donald Brashear.
Dave and I kinda hashed it out yesterday, with Dave preferring Voros stay, and me wanting Voros but expecting him to go. I expect him to go because Brashear makes $1.4 million. It’s hard to bench that kind of money. But, if money were not an issue, Brashear would be first to go. He doesn’t do much, and his fighting ability seems to have dwindled. Voros hustles, digs in the corner, and can throw a mean right hook.
I’m going to leave it up to you guys. When Drury comes back, who sits: Voros, or Brashear?