Derick Brassard

Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal


Derick Brassard’s big season with the New York Rangers has earned him a big deal.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports Brassard will avoid arbitration and has agreed to a five-year, $25 million deal with the Rangers. The two sides were due to appear in court on Monday. Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports the deal hasn’t been signed as there are a few details left to get ironed out. It’s just a matter of time before it’s made official.

Update (4:19 p.m. ET): Rangers officially announce the signing.

Last season, Brassard blossomed with the Rangers as their third line center between Benoit Pouliot and Mats Zuccarello. He scored 18 goals and had 45 points in the regular season and had six goals and six assists in the Rangers’ run to the Stanley Cup Final. Just ask the Pittsburgh Penguins what they thought of that line in the Eastern Conference Semifinal.

In seven seasons with the Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets, Brassard has 81 goals and 225 points. In New York, however, he’s emerged as an important offensive threat and will likely head into next season as the team’s No. 2 center. While he’s battled injury throughout his career, when he’s been healthy he’s been a very good player – just as the Rangers saw last season.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane
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On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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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.