Islanders: Re-sign or decline pending UFA Derick Brassard?
By Johnny Berman
The New York Islanders signed Derick Brassard to a one-year contract last off-season to replace Valtteri Filppula. Now the Isles must decide whether to re-sign Brassard or to look for his replacement.
Derick Brassard had his ups and downs with the New York Islanders this season. He failed to score a goal in his first eight games with the team. After that, he scored in five consecutive games. He then experienced an 18-game scoring drought midway through the season and was on a separate 13-game scoring drought prior to the stoppage of play.
Brassard is not the offensive threat he was five to six years ago with the Rangers. Back then, he was putting up close to 20 goals and 30 assists per season. Still, he found other ways to be effective this season. He won a career-high 55.2% of face-offs, and his 115 hits surpassed his totals in each of the past five seasons.
He wasn’t even that bad on offense. Sure, his ten goals were disappointing, but his 22 assists were seventh-most on the team. He even recorded more points than
did with the Isles the previous season.
The Islanders have to be content with what they got out of Brassard this season. They had signed him to a low-risk one-year, $1.2 million contract and wound up with a lot of value.
Lou might not be able to sign Brassard for that little again, but he should try to bring him back on another one-year contract. Until prospects like Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows are ready to take the next step, Brassard is an effective stop-gap. Furthermore, the 32-year old brings 13 years of NHL experience and could serve as a mentor to these young prospects.
If Brassard wants a longer commitment, then it might be time for Lou and the Isles to move on and find his replacement. However, if he is willing to sign another one-year contract, then he would be a welcome re-addition to the Isles.
Decision: Re-sign, but only on a short-term contract.