February 11, 2010
Right from the start, the New York Rangers signing of Donald Brashear(notes) to a two-year, $2.8 million deal in July didn't sit well with fans. The image of Brashear, then with Washington, knocking Blair Betts out of their first-round playoff series last April was burned into their heads. Betts would miss Game 7 and the Capitals would finish their comeback by defeating the Rangers 2-1.
Now a Blueshirt, Brashear has only dressed for only 36 of New York's 60 games and with another year remaining on his deal and the fact that he's 38-years old, his contract will count against the salary cap, even if the Rangers put him through waivers. Brashear told The Bergen Record's Andrew Gross that the reason he is watching games from the press box is because of his recent trade request:
"It just shows me they don’t believe in me," Brashear told The Record. "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."
"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 you’re not game to use me?"
Brashear also questioned the Rangers' desires, but accepted his current situation on the team:
"At the same time, I don’t really understand what they expect," said Brashear, who injured his hand early in the season and recently had a hamstring issue. "Do they want a showman like they had in Orr or do they want a guy that can play and fight?"
"Now, it’s not so much being [ticked] off," Brashear said. "When you go to work and don’t like what’s going on at work, it’s like going backward. It’s no fun. In the end, we’re getting our salary. You’ve got to live with it."
In his 36 games, Brashear has nine fights and Rangers fans feel he's done a poor job as team enforcer, something that the acquisition of Brandon Prust(notes) from Calgary last week might solve. Add the fact that the Rangers routinely have him and Aaron Voros(notes) (one goal, 143 PIM's and $2.4 million cap hit combined) take up space in the press box and Rangers fans have to be thankful for the Eastern Conference parity that finds them four points behind Philadelphia and Tampa Bay for the final playoff spot.
UPDATE: Bob McKenzie Tweets that they Rangers have placed Brashear on waivers.