Brassard to the Penguins in Three-Team Deal
The Ottawa Senators traded center Derick Brassard to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a complex three-team deal that also involved the Vegas Golden Knights. It breaks down as follows:
“Pittsburgh traded defenseman Ian Cole, goalie Filip Gustavsson, a 2018 first-round draft pick and a 2019 third-round selection to the Senators.
The Penguins sent forward Ryan Reaves and a 2018 fourth-round draft pick originally acquired from Vancouver to the Golden Knights. Vegas is also retaining 40% of Brassard’s salary this season.”
In addition to getting Brassard, the Penguins “received a 2018 third-round draft pick and prospect forward Vincent Dunn from the Senators; and the Pens also received prospect forward Tobias Lindberg from the Golden Knights.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once again, Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford finds a way to load up for yet another run at the Stanley Cup. With this move, Rutherford has served notice the Penguins are serious about a drive for a third-straight championship. It could have a significant ripple effect upon the trade market leading up to Monday’s 3pm ET trade deadline.
Brassard, 30, is a solid two-way center on pace this season for 25 goals and 50 points. He’ll slide into the third-line center role with the Penguins and can also move up into the second-line role if Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin become sidelined by injury. He also has good playoff numbers, with 22 goals and 55 points in 78 postseason contests.
Brassard has an annual salary-cap hit of $5 million through 2018-19. The Golden Knights picking up a big chunk of it made it easier for the cap-strapped Pens to add him to their payroll after shipping out Cole and Reaves.
Reaves, 31, was acquired at last year’s draft by the Penguins in a trade with the St. Louis Blues, who received the 31st overall pick (which was used to select Klim Kostin) and forward Oskar Sundqvist. He was brought in to provide an additional physical presence to the Penguins forward lines, but Rutherford evidently felt he was worth parting with to bring in more skill at center. The Golden Knights add Reaves’ grit to their lineup as well as an additional fourth-round pick this year.
The Senators aren’t just retooling, this is a full-fledged rebuild. Depending on where the Pens finish in the standings that pick could be low in the first round. GM Pierre Dorion could retain it or perhaps use it as trade bait at the deadline to bring in a good young player or prospect. He also clears Brassard’s full cap hit from his books, which could be put toward re-signing restricted free agents such as Mark Stone or Cody Ceci. Gustavsson, according to The Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy, is “an excellent goaltending prospect, which fills “a big need” for the Senators.
Dorion probably isn’t done dealing. Cole was the frequent subject of trade speculation since December, when the Pens were mired in a significant losing skid and in danger of falling completely out of playoff contention. The trade chatter had died down as the Penguins improved and surged in the standings. He is an unrestricted free agent this summer. As per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun:
Ottawa started getting calls from teams on Ian Cole right away when news leaked earlier today. Sens plan to flip him before Monday’s deadline.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 24, 2018