New York Rangers forward Derick Brassard underwent wrist surgery last week, leaving him with a four-to-six week window of recovery, according to sources including The Bergen Record.
That rehab estimate would indicate that the 27-year-old will be recovered by the time training camp kicks off sometime in September.
It’s unclear how long Brassard’s wrist was bothering him, but either way, he was quite productive last season.
During the regular season, he set new career-highs in goals (19), assists (41) and points (60). His postseason totals were also new high marks, as he managed 16 points in 19 contests.
As the Bergen Record notes, Brassard is one of quite a few Rangers who weren’t 100 percent during the final stretch.
It just gives a full picture of the Rangers’ medical issues during the postseason. Captain Ryan McDonagh was playing on a broken right foot, Dan Girardi underwent a bursa excision on his ankle and Marc Staal had a bone chip removed from his ankle. Plus, Keith Yandle continued playing after suffering a shoulder sprain in the first round.
The Rangers likely expect Brassard to match or exceed last season’s numbers, so it’s a positive that he probably won’t deal with lingering issues. That said, setbacks can happen; if so, it will be noted at PHT this summer.
New York traded away speedy Swedish forward Carl Hagelin at the NHL Entry Draft.
On Wednesday, they signed speedy Swedish forward Viktor Stalberg.
A bit of a stretch? Sure, but there’s definitely something to it — the Rangers added an older, cheaper winger that can skate in Stalberg, who agreed to a one-year, $1.1 million pact just days after getting bought out by the Predators.
The former Blackhawk failed to live up to expectations in Nashville after signing a four-year, $12 million deal in the summer of ’13. He spent time in AHL Milwaukee last season, though part of that was rehabbing from injury; when up with the Preds, Stalberg had decent production — 10 points in 25 games — and was a pretty useful contributor in the club’s opening-round playoff loss to Chicago, finishing with three points in six contests.
For New York, the contract is a low-cost, low-risk move, and those are the types of deals the Rangers need to take on as they’re up against it in terms of the salary cap. New deals are still needed for the likes of Derek Stepan, J.T. Miller, Emerson Etem and Jesper Fast.
Some smaller signings to pass your way…
• Nashville has signed veteran d-man Barret Jackman to a two-year, $4 million deal with an average annual cap hit of $2 million. Jackman, 34, had previously spent his entire NHL career — 14 years, 803 games — with the St. Louis Blues and, though it was a while ago, is still one of just four defensemen in the last 25 years to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year.
In Nashville, he’ll provide a veteran presence in the club’s top-six defense alongside Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Seth Jones, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis.
• New Jersey has signed former Blue Jackets, Rangers and Coyotes defenseman John Moore to a three-year, $5 million deal with an average annual value of $1.67M. Columbus’ first-round pick (21st overall) at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Moore had a pretty decent ’13-14 campaign with the Rangers (15 points in 74 games, 21 playoff appearances) but was sent to Arizona as part of the Keith Yandle trade, and wasn’t given a qualifying offer by Coyotes GM Don Maloney.
• Just days after Montreal bought him out of his contract, P.A. Parenteau has signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with Toronto.
Parenteau, 32, has struggled to find the form that saw him score 67 points in 80 games for the Islanders in 2011-12 — when he played on a line with John Tavares — but less will be expected of him now that he’s no longer pulling down a $4 million cap hit.
For all the talent they boast up front, and after acquiring Cam Talbot to try and shore up the goaltending, the Edmonton Oilers still needed to address their defense.
They started to do that today by signing veteran blue-liner Andrej Sekera to a long-term deal:
Sekera, 29, split last season between Carolina and Los Angeles. He was traded to the Kings in February, but couldn’t help the then-defending champions into the playoffs.
The Oilers’ defense will continue to change. Nikita Nikitin and Andrew Ference won’t be around much longer, while young Darnell Nurse will be brought into the fold.
Edmonton is also reportedly close to signing center Mark Letestu.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have kicked off free agency with a minor signing, agreeing to a two-year pact with veteran blueliner Matt Hunwick.
The deal, per Sportsnet, is worth $2.4 million and carries an average annual cap hit of $1.2M.
Hunwick, 30, scored 11 points in 55 games for the Rangers last year and made six playoff appearances. The former Bruin and Avalanche played on a one-year, $600,000 deal in ’14-15 and headed to unrestricted free agency after what was, all things considered, not a bad effort in his lone year as a Blueshirt.