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Donald Brashear : Ice Hocky Player of U.S.A desert

Professional career

Early career

Brashear was signed as a free agent by the Montreal Canadiens in 1992. He spent parts of three 
seasons with their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Fredericton Canadiens before becoming a regular in Montreal. During the 1993–94 AHL season he registered professional career highs of 38 goals and 66 points, along with 250 Penalty Minutes (PIMs) in 62 games. His 38 goals tied him for the team lead and the 250 PIMs led Fredericton.[5] Brashear made his National Hockey League (NHL) debut on November 15, 1993 against the Ottawa Senators. He registered an assist in the contest, his first NHL point. Two days later he scored his first NHL goal in a game vs. the Edmonton Oilers. After playing parts of four seasons with the Canadiens, his time in Montreal ended following a heated verbal exchange with head coach Mario Tremblay during a team practice on November 9, 1996. Four days later Brashear was traded to the Vancouver Canucks forJassen Cullimore. Brashear finished the year with 13 points and 245 PIMs, seventh in the league.
The following season Brashear led the NHL in penalty minutes and set a Canucks' franchise record with 372 PIMs, while adding 18 points. During the season he also received a four-game suspension for delivering a blind-side punch to Ian Laperriere. Brashear stated that he hit Laperriere in retaliation to Laperriere punching Brashear's teammate, Gino Odjick from behind. The 1998–99 season marked the first and only time in his career which he played in all 82 games, again leading the Canucks in penalty minutes and finishing 8th in the NHL. In the 1999–2000 season Brashear set a career high in goals with 11, but the season was marred by one of the most published incidents of excessive violence in the modern era of hockey.

McSorley incident

During the February 21, 2000 Vancouver-Boston game, Brashear was involved in a fight with Marty McSorley. Brashear handily won the fight and on his way to the penalty box taunted the Bruins bench.] Later in the game Brashear collided with Bruins' goaltender Byron Dafoe, who had to be taken off on a stretcher with a knee injury. For the rest of the game, McSorley attempted to fight Brashear, who refused. With three seconds left in the game McSorley struck Brashear with a two-handed slash to the temple with his stick. Brashear collapsed. His head bounced off the ice. He suffered a seizure on the ice and the slash resulted in a grade 3 concussion. McSorley received an indefinite suspension and was charged with assault with a weapon as a result of his actions.
The case went to trial in British Columbia, where Brashear testified that he has no memory of the incident. McSorley testified that he tried to hit Brashear in the shoulder to start a fight with him, but missed resulting in the head shot. McSorley was found guilty but avoided a jail sentence. He was required to complete 18 months of probation, in which he was not allowed to play against Brashear. Brashear returned to play prior to the end of the season. McSorley, who missed the remaining 23 games of the season, had his suspension officially set at one year, but never played in another NHL game again.


Brashear played in 79 games the following season registering 19 assists and 28 points. After leading the Canucks in penalty minutes for the previous four seasons, Brashear was traded 31 games into the 2001–02 season to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers received Brashear and the Canucks' 6th round pick in the 2002 draft, in exchange for Jan Hlaváč and the Flyers 3rd round pick in the same draft.[26] While splitting time between the two franchises, Brashear set a career high in points, totaling 32, while amassing 199 PIMs. In 2002–03 he recorded 8 goals, 25 points and 161 PIMs. Thanks in part to his strong work ethic, he was awarded the Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy, an annual award given to the Flyers' most improved player.[27] During the 2003–04 season he was among the league leaders in PIMs, registering 212, ranking him 5th. His PIM total was aided by his role in the most penalized game in NHL history. On March 5, 2004 the Flyers were defeating the Ottawa Senators 5-2, when with 1:45 remaining in the game, Brashear fought Ottawa enforcer Rob Ray. The fight was believed to be in retaliation to Flyers forward Mark Recchi being slashed in the face by the Senators Martin Havlat.[28][29] Following Brashear's fight, five separate brawls broke out.[28] For his role in starting the fighting Brashear was assessed 34 PIMs, more than any other Flyer.[30] When asked later why he started the fighting, he responded by saying, "Why wouldn’t I? Did you see the last game?"
Donald Brashear (left) fights Sheldon Brookbank

Due to the cancellation of the 2004–05 NHL season by the NHL lockout Brashear signed with theQuebec Radio X of the semi-pro Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey league (LNAH). The deal was reportedly worth $300,000. He registered 18 goals and 50 points in 47 games, but was reluctant to fight and felt the league did little to protect him from players wanting to make a name for themselves against an established NHL enforcer. Brashear was suspended from the league following an incident where he continued punching a player in the face while he was lying on the ice.
Following the lockout, Brashear voiced his displeasure with the new way the league called games, stating that the NHL changed the rules to favor "superstars," and he felt that there was no longer a way to "get respect" on the ice. His statement came following a game in which he attempted to fight Darius Kasparitis, who the Flyers believed delivered a "cheap shot" to Simon Gagne in anOlympic game earlier in the year. After Kasparitis refused to fight Brashear at various points in the game, Brashear hit Kasparitis with a gloved punch with 1:53 remaining in the game.] Kasparitis did not fight back and instead covered up to protect himself. Brashear was assessed 29 PIMs for the incident, including an instigator penalty. Brashear was given a one-game suspension, due to new league rules for the 2005–06 season - any player given an instigator penalty in the final five minutes of regulation or overtime would receive an automatic one-game suspension. At the end of the year he was again in the top ten (8th) in PIMs accumulating 166, but his offensive production dropped to a mere 9 points. The Flyers elected not to re-sign the enforcer.
The Washington Capitals signed Brashear on July 14, 2006 to a one-year, 1 million dollar contract.[36] The signing was to provide Alexander Ovechkin with some protection. Capitals management felt that Brashear was skilled enough not to be a liability on the team while bringing an intimidating presence. During the 2006–07 season the Capitals decided to extend Brashear's contract, signing him to a one-year, $1.1 million contract extension. He was also suspended one game of the season for punching New York Rangers defenseman Aaron Ward, following a fight between Brashear and Brendan Shanahan.[39] In the game Shanahan felt Brashear was taking liberties with Ranger CaptainJaromír Jágr and challenged Brashear to a fight. Brashear won the fight and motioned as if he was dusting off his hands. Ward then approached him and had words with Brashear who responded by punching him in the face, earning Brashear a game misconduct for intent to injure and eventually the suspension. At season's end his point total increased from the previous season to 13 and his 156 PIMs ranked him in the top ten (6th) in the league for the sixth time in his career. In the 2007–08 season, Brashear played in 80 games for the Capitals but his offensive production slipped down to 8 points while registering only 119 PIMs. Yet he served as one of the Capitals' alternate captains. On January 24, 2008 the Capitals once again re-signed Brashear, this time to a one-year, $1.2 million extension.
In the 2008–09 season Brashear's point total dropped to 4, his lowest total since 1995–96 while he was with Montreal. During the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs he earned a suspension for two separate on-ice incidents. On April 26, 2009 the Capitals faced the New York Rangersin game 6 of their first-round series. In the pre-game warm-ups Brashear shoved Rangers' enforcer Colton Orr and mid-way through the first period delivered a blind-side hit to Blair Betts. As a result of the hit, and a possible elbow, Betts suffered a broken orbital bone and was out indefinitely. Colin Campbell ruled that the hit was late on an unsuspecting player; he also believed it targeted the head, and as a result caused significant injury. For his actions Brashear was given a 6-game suspension (one for the pre-game altercation and five for the hit on Betts).

Later career

Brashear was not given an extension during the season and prior to the start of free-agency indicated that he would like to return to Washington with the prospect of winning the Stanley Cup. Brashear noted that at his age and place in his career, taking care of his family was top priority and money would be the deciding factor.[47] The Capitals did not re-sign him. After talks with the Kontinental Hockey League's (KHL) Vityaz Chekhov he agreed to a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the New York Rangers. At an event for season-ticket holders, Brashear was booed due to the altercation with the Rangers in the previous post season. He set a personal milestone during the2009–10 season by playing in his 1,000th NHL game, on November 12 against the Atlanta Thrashers.
Brashear struggled in New York registering only one assist and 73 PIMs in 36 games; he became unhappy with his role in New York and asked the Rangers for a trade. Following a stretch of seven straight and 12 of 13 games where he was a healthy scratch, the Rangers placed Brashear on waivers. After clearing waivers, he was assigned to the Rangers AHL affiliate the Hartford Wolfpack. Despite the demotion Brashear was happy to be getting steady ice time in Hartford.
At the end of the season, the Rangers again placed Brashear on waivers, making him eligible for a contract buyout. Instead of buying out his contract, the Rangers traded Brashear on August 2, 2010, along with Patrick Rissmiller, to the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for centerTodd White. Atlanta then placed Brashear on waivers and bought out the remaining year of his contract, making him an unrestricted free agent. At the end of the 2009–10 season, Brashear ranked 15th all-time in NHL history for penalty minutes.
After not receiving serious interest from any NHL teams Brashear decided to return to the LNAH and signed with Sorel-Tracy GCI. He noted that his decision was based on his desire to continue playing hockey, his love of playing in Quebec, and a chance to reunite with some former teammates.

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