NYR Derek Brassard is the latest NHL player with the mumps. Being sent back to NYC.— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) December 14, 2014
The New York Rangers' third leading goal scorer, Derick Brassard, is being sent back to New York after being diagnosed with the mumps. Brassard is the second Ranger to have caught the mumps this season after Tanner Glass missed time just a week ago with the contagious disease. He is the second player this weekend to have contracted the mumps after the news broke that superstar Sidney Crosby will miss time with the infectious disease.
Losing Brassard is a huge blow to the Rangers on this road trip. Brassard currently has 7 points in his last 5 games and has been one of the most dynamic and impactful players with the puck for the Blueshirts all season long. The Rangers will be looking to Derek Stepan to pick up the slack and play a more prominent role with the other top six forward out of the picture. It appears that J.T. Miller will be plugged back into a center role although it is unclear who he'll be skating with and who Kevin Hayes will be skating with. It goes without saying that there will be at least a minor shakeup in the lines with someone as crucial as Brassard out of the lineup, seeing who gets on the ice with who will be a big story line for tonight's contest against the Edmonton Oilers.
Brassard coming out of the lineup also means the return of Tanner Glass after he was healthy scratch last night in the Rangers' 5-1 destruction of the Vancouver Canucks. It looks like the Rangers are going to have a much harder time making something special happen on this road trip than we all thought they were after last night's game ended. The symptoms of mumps usually take about a week to a week and a half to pass which is very rough news for the Blueshirts on this road trip. We'll keep you posted on any updates and keep your fingers crossed that the mumps doesn't continue to linger and work its way through the Rangers' locker room.