It was pretty evident what newly acquired grinder Brandon Prust will bring to the Rangers lineup after watching him in Tuesdaynight's contest against the Los Angeles Kings. He looks to be a tremendous physical player and clearly is educated when it comes to dropping the gloves and settling business one-on-one. Both Aaron Voros and Donald Brashear were also brought to New York, at different times, to do exactly that, but have failed; losing fights, not producing, and not making much of a difference whatsoever.
Listen, I realize that GM Glen Sather needs to dump one of Wade Redden or Michal Rozsival, preferably both in order to move on in the process here. But an easier problem to fix right now is the wasted space on the bottom six between Donald Brashear and Aaron Voros. These two combined consume just over $2 million in cap space on a payroll that sees the Rangers with only about $400,000 in wiggle room. Come the off-season, that wiggle room needs to increase in order to re-sign players such as Marc Staal, who are much more valuable to the club than these enforcers.
Donald Brashear, who is locked up in a 2 year/$2.8 million contract, has done absolutely nothing in his tenure with New York. He is rarely in the lineup, and when he is, he losses majority of the fights he engages in and has one point on the season. ONE POINT! That is pathetic to put it lightly and he has no business being on this team with numbers like that.
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I'll admit to the fact that I was willing to give the veteran heavyweight an opportunity as a Blueshirt at first. No, I was not happy about the signing when it originally happened, but as time passed I realized that it was worth a shot. Boy was I ever wrong. Brashear doesn't fit in New York, and quite honestly, the fans do not like him one iota. That is due in part to his hit that sent Blair Betts out of the playoffs in the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, but even so, he has done nothing to win the fans over and redeem himself for that nasty elbow.
Aaron Voros is a great personality in the locker room, knows how to be a team guy, but the same thing was said of Chris Higgins- look how his situation turned out. With Prust here, the Rangers now have a more capable version of Voros if you will, and with that, there is no point in Aaron sticking around. I couldn't care less about who he is friends with or how attached he is to the city. The bottom line is that Voros needs to be shown the door.
Now the question of "how" arises. Well, GM Glen Sather always has the option of simply placing them on waivers. Then the possibility of exchanging them for draft picks in a trade. Choice two would be the best possibility, but choice one is more likely. This team is full of dead weight when it comes to the salary cap, and they do not need that hanging around by any means. It should be removed before it ends up costing them, and Slats has already begun that process with trading Chris Higgins (which I speculated a month ago) and Ales Kotalik.
Now he must step up to the plate and rid himself of both Voros and Brashear, in addition to one of Redden or Rozsival. New York is not a market that you are going to get away with failing as an athlete, and many past Rangers can tell you that. It will eventually get to the point where the fans hatred of an individual will reach such levels where the front office has no other option but to move him. Hopefully that is the thought process of Glen Sather with the trade deadline approaching in March.