Crazy that it's going to be August by the end of this week. That also means, luckily, we're getting closer to hockey! Here are your morning notes.
Derick Brassard inked a five-year, $25 million extension, a deal that is good for both the player and team. [Blueshirt Banter]
Just wanted to chime in with some more thoughts on Brassard, while I'll try not to step on Joe's toes:
- With an AAV of $5 million, the key isn't to look at the value of Brassard's contract now, but how it will stand up when the salary cap goes up. Everyone I've spoken with expects the cap to increase around $6 million for the 2015-16 season to a ceiling of around $75 million. Getting Brassard for the number he's at now will be incredibly fair under that cap climate.
- The $4.95 million asking price Brassard reportedly sent the Rangers' way was clearly for a one-year deal. Zuccarello took less money to come back for a year and won himself some UFA rights, and a big payday under next summer's salary cap (see: point 1). And with that being said, it will be a busy time for Glen Sather and co. again, with the likes of Derek Stepan, Marc Staal, Carl Hagelin, and Mats Zuccarello all needing new deals. With Martin St. Louis also in the final year of his deal, it would have added even more long-term roster instability had the Rangers not locked up Brassard to a multi-year extension.
- Brassard certainly did the job of a third line center incredibly well. The pressure will be on to perform with more responsibility, but as I've said time and time again, I think he can flourish with Zuccarello and St. Louis.
- It's also a foregone conclusion that, for the money, Brassard will be the Rangers second line center for the life of this new deal. Things can change, especially in a system with good, young talent. Would $5 million be "too much to pay for a third line center?" That's a very odd approach to take for this situation should it come to that, and if the likes of J.T. Miller jump up the depth chart in the years to come, there will be much more salary cap to play with.
- The Rangers will likely enter this season with roughly $2 million in cap space (figure they sign John Moore, and demote some players who won't cost against the NHL number, like Chris Mueller, Matt Hunwick, or Mike Kostka). Next year, roughly $20 million will come off the books. Again, the bulk of that will be used to re-sign core guys, like Staal (presumably sooner than later), Stepan, Hagelin, and Zuccarello. Alternatively, should the organization go the way of youth (Brady Skjei could very well make the team in 2015, and there are other prospect knocking on the door), and the blueprint could turn out very differently.