Rangers avoid arbitration with Derick Brassard, agree to five-year, $25 million deal
It’s a five-year contract that will pay Brassard $25 million total, for a cap hit of $5 million. The year-to-year breakdown isn’t quite that simple, however. The 26-year-old will earn the bulk of the money up front, with $7 million coming to him next season, $6 million in 2015-16, $5 million the following year, and then $3.5 million in the final two years of the deal to bring that all important average annual salary down.
The deal is a huge win for Brassard’s camp. Heck, it’s even a little more than they were asking yesterday, according to Elliotte Friedman:
The two sides were only $1.1 million apart then, and with arbitration looming, it was the Rangers who caved, apparently kicking in an extra $50,000 for Brassard’s troubles.
It’s not surprising. They need Brassard desperately. Without him, Dominic Moore is New York’s second-line centre, and there’s really no one coming down the pipe that looks poised to take on the job in the coming seasons. If the Rangers hope to return to the Cup Final, retaining Brassard is vital.
Which is why they lost this negotiation. That and their apparent allergy to arbitration. That makes three guys this season (Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello) they’ve signed before going to court.
In addition to the wheelbarrow full of cash, Brassard has also been handed a limited no-trade clause, which will help him control his destiny when the Rangers try to get out from under a deal that pays $5 million a season to a guy who’s never hit 20 goals or 50 points in his five full seasons as an NHLer.
Still, at 26, Brassard is entering his prime years, and it’s a pretty good bet that he finally hits both milestones next season, at least, especially with Brad Richards now out of the picture, and Alain Vigneault rolling the Rangers top two lines in relatively equal measure.
Plus he’ll have to rely on those two lines a lot, since the cap-strapped Rangers no longer have the money to fill out the bottom-two lines with high-end pieces. The team has about $4 million left to spend on signing John Moore and filling out the rest of their 22-man roster.