As of about two months ago, Donald Brashear may have been public enemy No. 1 to Rangers fans, what with his utter destruction of Blair Betts’s orbital bone during last season’s playoffs. But then Brashear signed with the Rangers, and all of a sudden the gooniest of goons was on our side, meaning Rangers fans would have to choose between cheering for a sucker-puncher they’ve never particularly liked, or booing someone on whom, like him or not, the team will be counting to contribute. Last night, season-ticket holders were forced to make that decision, and chose to boo. Right up until Brashear won them over.
At a “Meet the Blueshirts” event introducing the team’s new players to season subscribers, Brashear was introduced to “a sizable smattering” of boos. (This seems like a good place to mention that fans in attendance were given free beer.) But Brashear defused the situation quickly, using a method only a hockey fan would appreciate: He threatened to beat them all up. “Those fans that are booing, I’ll take you one by one,” he joked to the crowd, and for most fans (though not all), that was that. Welcome to the family, Donald!
It’s worth noting that he didn’t apologize for the Betts incident, and instead spoke of how it sparked a surge for the Capitals, who would go on to win games six and seven of the opening-round series. Presumably, this means we’ll be seeing more of this sort of thing from Brashear this season. Except this time, one would hope, it would benefit the Rangers. And then, too, he’ll probably hear a smattering of boos that will quickly turn to cheers.