The New York Rangers and forward Derick Brassard have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a five-year, $25 million contract, the team announced Sunday.
The two sides were due to appear in court on Monday for the arbitration hearing to determine his 2014-15 salary. Brassard had reportedly requested $4.95 million, while the team countered by offering $3.825 million. This is the second hearing that New York has avoided in the past few days, as the team also agreed to a new deal with Mats Zuccarello this week.
Brassard, 26, had a strong 2013-14 season on the Rangers’ third line, recording 18 goals and 45 points over 81 games. Partnering with Zuccarello and Benoit Pouliot, he contributed to the impressive depth that allowed New York to reach the Stanley Cup Final during the postseason.
The Rangers originally acquired Brassard — along with John Moore, Derek Dorsett and a draft pick — as part of the deal that sent Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets during the 2012-13 season. He played well for New York during his brief time that year, going for 11 points in 13 games.
Entering next season, Brassard will likely be bumped up to the second line following the departure of No. 2 center Brad Richards to the Chicago Blackhawks. After putting up 40-plus points in three of the past four years, it’s possible he could take his production to another level entering his age-27 season.
The deal also bumps Brassard’s cap hit up from $3.2 million to $5 million next season. Coming off a four-year, $12.8 million contract originally signed with Columbus, Brassard is receiving a solid raise as he enters his prime.