After Alex Ovechkin’s rookie season in the NHL, Capitals general manager George McPhee signed enforcer Donald Brashear to a one-year, $1 million contract. Brashear’s presence on the ice was meant to be a deterrent to opposing players looking to go after the Capitals’ superstar.
“We’re not running a Sunday school,” then Capitals General Manager George McPhee said per a Washington Post story in July 2006. “There were some times [last season] when some defensemen on other teams went after Alex a little bit. And there were a lot of times when Alex ran over other teams’ defensemen.”
Brashear was one of the most fearsome hitters and heavyweight fighters in the league along with Georges Laraque during that time. But according to former Capitals assistant coach Dean Evason (2005-2012), who is now the head coach of the Minnesota Wild, Ovechkin found Brashear’s help unnecessary during his own physical battles on the ice.