2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Three

Brassard, Rangers about $1.1M apart in arbitration requests


There are still a couple days for the New York Rangers and Derick Brassard to avoid a Monday salary arbitration hearing, but in the meantime, the two sides’ submissions are in. Brassard seeks $4.95 million while the Rangers request a $3.825 million mark, according to the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman.

Back on July 17, word surfaced that Brassard wanted $5.5 million while former restricted free agent Mats Zuccarello asked for $4.5 million. Zuccarello already settled for $3.5 million and avoided arbitration, while it obviously at least looks like Brassard will receive at least a bit more money than the Rangers’ 2013-14 regular season scoring leader.

Brassard scored 18 goals and 45 points in 81 regular season games before collecting 12 points in 23 playoff contests last season. He’s likely to be counted on quite a bit more in 2014-15 after the team’s summer of turnover at the center position.

The former Columbus Blue Jackets first-rounder made it sound like it’s just a matter of time before he signs with the Rangers, as he discussed with the New York Daily News at Dominic Moore’s “Smashfest” charity tournament (more on that soon):

“I tried to get away from the game a little bit, but now I’m back in the gym trying to get stronger and faster,” Brassard said on Thursday. “Just this week I was thinking about how excited I am about going back to New York and playing again.

“It’s great to see friends and spend time with family in the summer, but after the run we had, I just feel like I want to play again. I want to do this again.”

It sounds like the two sides will find a compromise, but we’ll need to wait and see.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: