It was announced yesterday that the Ottawa Senators and the New York Rangers were going to be trading Mika Zibanejad and Derick Brassard, along with some picks.
The move continues New York’s strives to re-create their aging team. First, they stocked up on role players in the free agency, now they look to get younger and faster. Ottawa gets an immediate upgrade on Zibanejad, but the young Swede looks to be outscoring Brassard in the near future.
The New York Times records New York Rangers’ general manager, Jeff Gorton, as saying: “We talked about if we could get younger and faster and not give up too much, that’s something we would do.
“I know the perception was to overhaul the team, but I don’t know how realistic that is.
“I’m not sitting here and mandated to change 10 things. This is an opportunity to get better, and that’s why we took it.”
At 23-years-old, 6’2’’ and 222 lbs, Mika Zibanejad is five years younger, an inch taller, and 17 lbs heavier than Derick Brassard, whilst shaving a mere $250,000 extra off of the salary cap – with Brassard hitting $3 million and Zibanejad hitting $3.25 million.
This season, Zibanejad surpassed his first half-century of points, going for 21 goals and 51 points with the Ottawa Senators. Brassard clocked in his second successive 50 plus season with his 27 goals and 58 points.
Looking at the straight player-for-player transaction, Ottawa gets a more regular goalscorer; whilst the Rangers move towards a new look faster and younger team. However, you then see that Ottawa also gave up a 2018 second round pick – returning a 2018 seventh round pick – to seal the deal.
Whilst Brassard is a potent goal scorer in the NHL, and will most likely provide more points for Ottawa next season than Zibanejad would, the Swede is not far behind in production, and is ever improving. To be honest, the draft pick exchange should have gone the other way around.
The Rangers needed this deal to stay competitive now and make their future brighter. Ottawa could have held onto the young star whilst their team continued to improve, and they’d still be in the running for a playoff spot next season.
In this deal, the New York Rangers come off as the big winners. Not only do they get a big upgrade on a draft pick, but they also get a much younger player who fits their new team specs and looks set to soon outscore the player they sent to the Sens.