From Backstrom to Steckel, we're taking a quick look at and grading the 2007-08 season for every* player who laced 'em up for the Caps during the campaign (and is still with the team) with an eye towards 2008-09. Next up, Donald Brashear.
Contract Status: $1.25m cap hit in 2008-09; UFA after 2008-09
Age (as of October 1, 2008): 36
NHL Seasons (including 2007-08): 14
2007-08 Regular Season Stats: 80 games played, 5 goals, 3 assists, -7, 119 PIMs
Key Stat: The top line missed a combined total of one game all season.
Surprising Stat: All eight of his points came under Bruce Boudreau, including a goal in Gabby's first game.
The Good: Brashear's leadership earned him an "A" on his sweater in 2007-08, and he celebrated by beating the living crap out of Riley Cote, Colton Orr and Chris Neil (among others) before New Year's. Despite getting a team-low ten shifts per game, Brash was fourth on the squad in hits (and, not surprisingly, led the team in hits per minute of ice time). His goal early in the first period of Game One got the playoffs off to a great start for the Caps.
The Bad: The Donald is clearly slowing down, which wouldn't be surprising for any 36-year-old, much less one who has had 210 NHL fights to his credit. He had his lowest point total since 1995-96 in his least amount of ice time per game since they started tracking the stat (a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg scenario there), his worst plus-minus since 2001-02 (and third-worst on the team), and his lowest PIM total since 1995-96 (when he played just 20 games). Brash had four different and full months during the season in which he had one point or less, and had pointless streaks of 21, 20 and 14 games. Oh, and the triple minor in Boston certainly falls under "The Bad" (especially given his leadership role).
The Vote: Rate Brashear on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.
The Question(s): Should the Caps have re-signed Brash for one more year (2008-09) or let him walk? What will it take for him to earn a 10 rating next year?
If you've missed any of the previous 2007-08 Rink Wraps, click here, get caught up, and vote - polls will stay open for a while.
* And by "every," we mean every one who played more than just a handful of games.