Even the most casual DMV sports fan is familiar with Donald Brashear. His brash hockey fighting style and status as a minority, which has helped him serve as a role model for DC's youth, have directed some deserving attention toward the Washington Capitals.
Then Mike Wise's piece on Brashear's tough upbringing ran in the Washington Post in early May. Brashear in D.C. became about more than just hockey as people discovered the true story about the left winger's background. Wise's piece touched the hearts of many, while simultaneously filling them with disgust at how adult human beings could treat a child so poorly.
But while fondness for a player and what he has been though is lasting, his time with a franchise is not necessarily so. The WaPost's Capitals Insider is reporting that sometime this week, Caps GM George McPhee will meet with Brashear regarding his future with the team.
Will McPhee ask Brashear to take less money? Will he accept less money? These are the lingering questions, amidst rumors that Brashear will go play in Russia, which have been denied by the man himself.
Do the Caps even want Brashear back? If the 52% of the fans on Caps blog Jasper's Rink who thought Brashear's '07-08 fell below expectations is any indication, the 37-year old might not have much left in the tank.
As J.P. of Jasper's Rink put in an email, "There are a lot of tough guys in the League who cost a lot less, many of whom do a lot more than Donald is able to do at this point in his career (be that fighting, forechecking or scoring). Bringing Brashear back at anything close to his 2008-09 salary would be an enormous mistake, and wholly unnecessary."
If Brashear accepts a significant pay-cut, the bench enforcer might be welcomed back with open arms. But if the American-Canadian feels he can earn more elsewhere, no one will blame him. He'll simply do what he knows best, fight his way to the next chapter of his life, leaving behind newfound admirers in the nation's capital.