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.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: