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Trade: Rangers send Brassard to Ottawa for Zibanejad

Ottawa Senators v New York Rangers

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Derick Brassard #16 of the New York Rangers celebrates his second goal of the game against the Ottawa Senators at 10_08 of the third period at Madison Square Garden on December 6, 2015 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Senators 4-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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It was reported in May that the New York Rangers were willing to trade almost anyone off their roster. Today, they dealt one of their leading scorers, center Derick Brassard, to Ottawa, for center Mika Zibanejad and a second-round draft pick in 2018. (The Senators also received a seventh-round draft pick in 2018.)

Brassard, 28, had 27 goals and 31 assists in 80 games last season. He’s signed for three more years at a cap hit of $5 million; however, he only has $10 million left in salary, which may have been attractive to a budget team like the Sens. (The Rangers had to pay Brassard a $2 million bonus on July 1, per General Fanager.)

Zibanejad, meanwhile, is five years younger than Brassard, just 23 years old. He had 21 goals and 30 assists in 81 games last season. His cap hit for 2016-17 is $2.625 million, after which he can become a restricted free agent.

The Rangers still have to sign RFAs Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes for next season. This trade gives them more cap space to get that done, plus they get younger at center. Whether they’ve gotten better remains to be seen.