Former Caps enforcer Donald Brashear sure knows how to win over the fans: Challenge 'em to a fight.
Why boos (besides this being New York)? You'll recall that during last year's playoff series, Brashear threw a cheapshot at Blair Betts, breaking Betts' orbital bone and crippling the already slim chances the Rangers had of holding on to that series.
A number or Rangers fans were upset at the message that signing Brashear so quickly, even (literally) before Betts' wounds healed, would send.
With that in the air, the boos weren't a surprise.
When he took the stage, Brashear addressed the boos directly, jokingly telling the crowd, "Those fans that are booing, I'll take you one-by-one."
OK, so maybe it was half-jokingly.
At the event, Brashear was asked about the hit, and he didn't apologize; he was even proud of it. "It certainly gave our team some wings. In the playoffs, you want to get that extra edge, and sometimes it's things like that that make a difference. That extra spark got the guys going on the bench."
He even noted that there were similar questions surrounding him when he joined the Caps and elsewhere, as relayed by Newsday.
"I remember playing with Steve Eminger in Washington and we were always talking about how I once hit him behind the net and knocked him down. It all depends, sometimes it ends a player's season. Hopefully, he sees it like I wasn't trying to hit him in the face, I was trying to deliver a hit.
"The players in general, they know that's who I am, that's what I do, try to deliver hits and try to intimidate any way I can. Players know from team to team, when you do it to the opposite team, they hate it. When you're on their team, they like it ... I'm pretty sure at some point we're going to cross and laugh about it. I got hit in the head with a stick one time [by Marty McSorley, in an incident that triggered an assault trial in Vancouver] and I put it behind me."
It's a good attitude, and the fans might come to appreciate it. If he follows Newday's advice to put a big hit on Sidney Crosby or the Flyers, they definitely will. So maybe things aren't all that different from his Washington days.