Born in Bedford, Indiana, Donald Brashear moved to Quebec in his youth where he first made a name for himself in the Quebec Midget AAA Hockey League with the Ste-Foy Gouverneurs. He then played three years in the QMJHL with Longueuil and Verdun before signing as a free agent with the Montreal Canadiens in the summer of 1992. The burly winger spent time with the Habs and the AHL's Fredericton Canadiens before earning a full time spot in 1995-96.
Brashear helped the Canadiens recover from a poor start and make the playoffs but friction was developing between him and coach Mario Tremblay. In the aftermath of a well-publicized argument at practice, the rugged winger was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in November 1996.
The West Coast suited Brashear as he developed into a more well-rounded player with his new club. He began scoring a few goals each season while solidifying his position as one of the NHL's toughest customers. The only downside in Vancouver came late in the 1999-2000 season when he suffered a severe concussion after being hit in the head by a stick swung by Boston's Marty McSorley. Brashear returned in 2000-01 to score a personal best 28 points and help the Canucks reach the playoffs.
Brashear went on to play a half season with the Canucks in 2001-02 before being dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers midway through the season. Following two years with the Flyers, the left winger was signed as a free agent by the Washington Captials on July 14, 2006.
After three seasons in Washington, Brashear found himself again an unrestricted free agent. The tough guy would be on the move again, this time signing with the New York Rangers.
After just one season in the Rangers organization the tough guy was dealt to the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for Todd White.