Members of the Blueshirt Faithful were shocked this week when the Rangers made their first major trade of the offseason. Fan-favorite Derick Brassard was sent to the Senators for Mika Zibanejad.
The teams also exchanged picks in the 2018 NHL Draft, with New York getting a second-round pick and Ottawa receiving a seventh-round pick.
Brassard came to New York in a trade with Columbus in 2013. He has been well-liked by the fans and the media ever since. He was a top-six center that had 69 goals and 105, totaling 174 points, in 254 games over four seasons.
Zibanejad has skated in 281 games over five seasons, notching 64 goals and 87 assists for 151 points. With his 64 penalty minutes, he’ll fit right in with the Rangers’ style of play.
Like it or not Ranger fans, this was a good move by the team. Looking at statistics, Zibanejad is 23 and notched 51 points last season. Brassard tallied 58 but will turn 29 in late September. Zibanejad is six years younger with just seven points less than Brassard overall last season, which shows that he will only continue to improve over the years.
Brassard has three years left on his contract with a $5 million salary-cap charge whereas Zibanejad has one year remaining with a $2.625 million charge. Ironically, both players were drafted sixth overall by their respective teams, Brassard in the 2006 Draft and Zibanejad in 2011. Maybe that’s a sign for Ranger fans to expect a similar playmaker?
Money-wise, the move makes sense. Now we just have to wait and see if it all works out for Zibanejad and New York.