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For the New York Rangers, the summer of 2014 has not been a kind one after their Stanley Cup run a couple of months ago. Salary cap issues are neatly-fit into every sentence regarding general manager Glen Sather and his squad. On Sunday, however, they brought back one-key piece: center Derick Brassard.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported that restricted free-agent Brassard and the Rangers agreed on a five-year deal worth $25 million, according to CBSSports.com. An arbitration hearing was scheduled for Monday, if the two-sides could not agree to terms.
Brassard, 26, will now be the Rangers fifth-highest paid player this upcoming season, which will be a hefty price-tag for a guy who has not yet put it all together. In 2013-2014 he tallied 18 goals and 27 assists in 81 games, according to HockeyReference.com.
Brassard, Rangers reach agreement on five-year, $25M contract in advance of tomorrow's scheduled arb hearing...
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) July 27, 2014
This contract firmly plants Brassard as a top-six forward in the NHL now, and will possibly be looked upon by the Rangers as a top-line center, along with Derek Stepan. It is without a doubt a calculated gamble by Sather to pay Brassard up-front and avoid unrestricted free-agency later down the road.
Brassard has shown immense potential with the blueshirts since acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets during the 2012-13 season for Marian Gaborik. However, he has yet to live up to the hype of a sixth overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
Brassard now joins two-other re-signed Rangers from the “restricted free-agency” club: forward’s Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello. Only defenseman John Moore remains unsigned. For the Rangers, the plan still remains the same. It is to re-sign their own young talent and develop from within. On certain years, the salary-cap will come up and bite you when you’d rather it not.