Donald Brashear, the long time NHL enforcer who made a name for himself playing with Montreal, Vancouver, Philadelphia and Washington, saw action in only 36 games for the New York Rangers before being placed on waivers and finally traded to Atlanta along with Patrick Rissmiller for aging center Todd White this past week.
Before joining the Rangers, Brashear faced his future team in the playoffs as a Capital where he was suspended for six games due to a pre-game alteration with Colton Orr and a late hit on Blair Betts during the game which led to an orbital eye socket fracture for Betts. At 38 years of age, Brashear is nearing the end of his career and will likely only play one season with Atlanta before moving on to retirement.
Todd White joining the Rangers adds experience and another offensive threat to a line-up that desperately needs more production this season. White’s best statistical year came in 2008-09 while playing along side Ilya Kovalchuck where he posted 22 goals and 51 assists on the year. White is a consistent player who understands the game well and will be a welcome addition to Marian Gaborik’s Ranger team. A top line of Gaborik, White and Prospal could be just the trio the Rangers were looking for.
White and Gaborik both played for the Minnesota Wild from 2005-07. Knowing each other’s playing style, this tandem has the opportunity to “hit the ice skating” from day one. Add in Vinny Prospal, a player known for his ability to see the ice and get the puck where it needs to be, and the White to Gaborik connection should see many scoring chances this season. Hopefully this is the starting line the Rangers decide to go with but even Ryan Callahan or Brandon Dubinsky would work in Vinny’s spot.
Other notable player news in the Atlantic Division:
New Jersey Devils – Today, August 4, the Ilya Kovalchuck saga continues with his contract hearing in Boston. The decision could come as late as Monday and could possibly make Kovalchuck a free agent once again.
New York Islanders – Pairing up with Mark Streit, James Wisniewski joins the Islanders after making a name for himself as a solid blue-liner for Chicago and Anaheim. Wisniewski will likely see an increase in playing time as a top-line defenseman for the Islanders this season.