According to Elliotte Friedman, the Rangers have signed restricted free agent Derick Brassard to a five year, $25 million contract. A few weeks ago I wrote about how the Rangers needed to be careful with Brassard’s next contract for the following reason:
In totality, Brassard’s production and usage was very similar to Brad Richards last season. Richards was given a one year, $2 million contract by the Blackhawks. The argument here isn’t that Brassard should be given the same contract, that commitment isn’t commensurate with his value to the Rangers. But it goes to show that the Rangers best course of action may no longer be to give Brassard a long-term contract. Especially if Brassard seeks a contract well above his qualifying offer’s AAV.
The Rangers options were limited as they do not have an internal replacement for Brassard. The cap hit and term are what Brassard would have likely commanded come next July were he to have hit unrestricted free agency. It’s not that the contract is outlandish considering the market, but that doesn’t make it a good contract. There is one guy who is very, very happy about this contract though. His name is Derek Stepan and he will easily break $6 million AAV on his next deal with the Rangers.