Hockey truly is a unique game.
Only in hockey do players who have spent seven games shoving, swearing and flat-out fighting with their opponents line up, put on a smile and shake hands with their opponents at the end of a series.
And only in the NHL do enemies quickly become teammates.
That is the case in New York, where Donald Brashear will be skating for the Blueshirts this upcoming season.
In last year's playoffs, Brashear, then a member of the Washington Capitals, was suspended for six games after blindsiding Rangers forward Blair Betts with an elbow to the face. Betts suffered a broken orbital bone and a concussion, while Brashear never had to face the Rangers and pay the price for what many deemed a dirty hit.
Now, he may never have to, and head coach John Tortorella doesn't think that should be a problem for his team.
"If there are players who have a problem with Donald because of Bettsy or anything else that's happened in the past, I expect the issue to be dealt with and settled," Tortorella told the New York Post. I don't care how, I don't care where, but get it done so that when we come out of the locker room, we do it as a team."
Rangers captain Chris Drury agreed with his coach.
"You pick a guy up to your team and he's family from day one," Drury told Newsday.com. "I'd go to bat for Donald Brashear right now, and so would everyone else. We love Blair Betts, but this is how it works."
Whether that is how it works or only how it is supposed to work will be seen throughout training camp. Any player who has a problem with Brashear, however, may find himself wearing a new sweater.
"The time of trying to maneuver and whine behind people's backs is over," Tortorella told Newsday.com. "Shut up and play."