With the Mika Zibanejad-Derick Brassard trade yesterday, we reached out to Blueshirt Banter to answer a few questions. Their managing editor, Joe Fortunato, was happy to help us out.
1. Derick Brassard was well-loved in New York. Are you surprised to see him traded?
Yes and no. There were rumors the Rangers were thinking of saving cap space by unloading a center -- although it was Derek Stepan, not Brassard, in all the rumors.
I'm not surprised to see Brassard go from a cap saving standpoint but I am surprised to see him get traded since it came out of nowhere.
2. It seems part of the point of this trade was cap considerations for the Rangers. But Zibanejad will be an RFA at the end of the year and will be due a healthy raise. Do you think the Rangers have more planned to sort out their salary cap mess?
I'd like to believe so, but at this point I'm not sure. Hopefully Zibanejad earns a contract similar to Brassard's this season.
3. Where do you think Z-bad will slot in the Rangers' lineup?
Second line center more than likely, although a lot of that had to do with Kevon Hayes and his development.
Maybe he falls on the third line with Pavel Buchnevich? I'm getting the chills thinking about it.
4. What kind of season were you expecting to see from Brassard before the trade? Do you think he'll be able to achieve that in Ottawa?
Anywhere from a 50-60 point season. I'd wager against him putting up as many goals, though. Brassard's slap shot might be the most accurate in the league, which is why it's infuriating he doesn't utilize it more. I think this year he really benefited from playing with Mats Zuccarello and a lot more was asked from him when Rick Nash was sidelined.
I see no reason why he can't put up those types of numbers in Ottawa if we're being honest. Brassard is capable of creating a lot of his own offense and should thrive with quicker members of the Senators.
5. How well would you grade this trade overall from the Rangers' point of view?
I like it a lot. I think the Rangers got much younger and I think Zibanejad already matching most of Brassard's average production at 23 is a big deal -- as is getting the second round pick, too.
The Rangers get younger, cheaper and maybe better if Zibanejad is still growing. I was concerned I would hate any form of a Brassard trade, but I think this surprised me in how much the Rangers got back.
That's not to discredit Brassard, who was one of our best playoff performers. That should be mentioned, he always came up huge when the Rangers needed him too. Still, I think Jeff Gorton did great work to get as much back for him as he did.