Penguins Trade Brassard to Panthers in Multi-Player Deal

by | Feb 1, 2019 | News, NHL, Rumors | 32 comments

The Pittsburgh Penguins traded centers Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan, along with a second-round pick and two fourth-round picks in the 2019 NHL Draft, to the Florida Panthers for centers Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann.

The Pittsburgh Penguins trade Derick Brassard to the Florida Panthers in a multi-player swap (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford makes his much-anticipated move to bolster his depth at forward while moving out Brassard, who struggled as Pittsburgh’s third-line center since joining the club prior to last year’s trade deadline. 

As TSN’s Bob McKenzie noted, by taking on pending free agents like Brassard and Sheahan, the Panthers will free up salary-cap space for additional moves in the offseason. It’s rumored they could take a run at signing Columbus Blue Jackets Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky via free agency.

Depending on how Brassard and Sheahan perform with the Panthers, perhaps they might be re-signed after this season provided they seek reasonable new deals. Otherwise, they’ll be allowed to walk on July 1 as the Panthers chase bigger fish in the UFA pool. Perhaps one of them might be flipped elsewhere before the Feb. 25 trade deadline. 

McKenzie also said this deal allows the Penguins to swap two players on expiring contracts for two younger players without taking an immediate step backward. Bjugstad is signed through 2020-21 with an annual average value of $4.1 million while McCann is signed through next season with a $1.25-mlllion AAV. 

Bjugstad, 26, is a big center (6’6″, 215 pounds) who can also skate on the wing and has two 40-plus point seasons on his resume. He’s been plagued at times by injuries and has just 12 points this season but could regain his offensive touch with the Penguins. McCann, 22, is a two-way center who can also play on the wing.

This move also leaves the Penguins with less than $500K in salary-cap space. If Rutherford has any other moves planned they’ll have to be dollar-for-dollar or he’ll have to dump salary first. 


  1. I do not see the Panthers side of this..they have plenty of cap space.

    • Another deal likely where Brassard moves on…

    • They want more. I believe there’s considerable frustration over their disappointing performance this season and are keen to improve next season. This not only frees up space for big splashes in the UFA pool but also perhaps for an offer sheet. We’ll see.

      • A goalie and Panarin…

      • It’s more likely because they have no money. Look at what they have away to Vegas – they’re super cheap.

  2. Columbus wants Brassard and Pittsburgh would never trade with Columbus Directly. Florida wants the Bread Man and this might just be a way to get him!

    • Florida would have to come up with a lot more than Brass for the CBJ to make that trade.

    • T I think you may be correct. Yes fla would have to add something to make things work. Jets also want Brassard,

  3. Rutherford has finally lost his mind. Matt Cullen is not an answer at centre. He’s practically half dead now, just wait until the playoffs. Bjugstad is a step down from Brassard and he’s ALWAYS hurt. McCann is 22 and this is his third team already. He’s never going to live up to his draft position. The Pens were finally starting to put it together and now this nonsense.

    • Deee..I step down from Brassard sorry…seriously Nick has 19 goals and he is a right wing not a center….McCann who they also got is a center only 22 has 8 goals the same as Brassard and he is 9 years younger and a cap hit of $1.2 for the next three years….

      I like Brassard man I was excited when we got him last year he just wasn’t a third line fit. Playing behind malkin and Crosby when you are a number #2 center is hard. He will get the minutes he needs elsewhere… I will miss Sheahan though a real good penalty killer..

      I also like the Penguins continue to get younger.
      Tanner Pearson, Nick Bjugstad, Jared McCann, Marcus Pettersson, Jussi Rikola, Zack Ashton Reese Teddy Blueger (just called up)

      Core player who are still young like Jake Guentzal, Brian Rust, Olli Matta, Brian Dumolin, Matt Murray, Dominic Simon, Casey Desmith

      You have the core guys still in their primes for a couple more years Crosby, Letang, Malkin Hornqvist, Kessel.,,

      Good deal not the one I thought might happen but we get faster younger and save a little cap space..

      ill bet Bjugstad goes to crosbys line Rust will move to Malkin’s line.

      Matt Cullen will be the 4th line guy so not too many minutes there he can handle that..

      • Sorry however I don’t agree , Brassard proved he needed a change and honestly he was a waste of the Pens money as he underperformed terribly and I have no problems with Shehan’s play as he was moved because if you want quality back from a trade at times you have to give quality also …. only time will tell if this was a good move by the Pens

    • Dee…..putting it together they lost 5 of 6 until the big win against Tampa Bay. They lost in Los Angeles, in San jose, in Vegas badly.. laid a clunker versus New Jersey..please! The wins they did get had to overcome a 3-0 deficit at Anaheim and eeeked out a one goal win at Arizona so putting it all together is a bit of a stretch..

    • Can’t agree Dee, I like this trade. Both players were leaving as Ufas and Brassard wasn’t happy with the role. To get Bjugstad and McCann by adding a 2nd and mid picks is pretty good.

      McCanns doesn’t have to ‘live up’ to his draft position. He just has to develop into a 3rd line Centre they want. Anything above that is a cherry on top. Rutherford has done a great job turning aging Ufas into controlled younger players. I don’t see where he’s lost his mind

  4. I like the deal Bjugstad is 26, 19 goals this year under term for two more years has reached 26 goals 2 years ago and McCcan also just 22, strong, physical only makes $1.2 million under term for 3 years at least.

    Also has 8 goals the same as Brassard 9 years younger….Brassard for whatever reason just dint fit in Pittsburgh….He will do well there…or hearing he may be flipped right away…god I hope not Columbus…

    • Bjugstad has 5 goals and 8 assists this season. He scored 19 last season.
      I like the trade. IMO the Pens weren’t in the position to resign Brassard. If there weren’t retained $2millions of his cap hit, his total cap hit would have been $5millions. Resigning him will cost to much for the Pens.
      I like Sheahan but let’s see how McCann develops.

      • Juss 76..
        Sorry man meant 19 goals last year,26 a couple years back. He is 25 to 20 goal candidate…off year this year 5 goals only 26..

      • 15 to 2 20 goal candidate..sorry stupid big fingers.

  5. Rutherford has quietly reloaded this team for 3 more Cup runs with the Sid/Geno core.

    He got Bjugstad (26), Pearson (26), McCann (22) and Pettersson (22) and all it cost him were 3 players who are UFA this summer, a few mid round picks and Sprong, who was never going to play here under Sully.

    If the Panthers use this get Panarin, so be it, otherwise…makes no sense and looks like Smith/Marchessault 2.0.

  6. MG…completely agree with you…..Black N Gold !

    I thik Rutherford has another move up his sleeve we need another defenseman. With Schultz coming back in about a week maybe a third pairing veteran d-man to play with the young talented Pettersson..

  7. Time will tell but my first thought was that Brassard may never wear a Florida sweater. Winnipeg next?

    • Bcleafs fan….Got to agree Winnipeg has had their eyes on brassard for a while and Vegas blocked that from happening last year…

      So Florida maybe flips him there good chance of that..

      Brassard is a solid player he just didn’t fit in Pittsburgh if he gets more minutes he will do well..

  8. Wow

    Go to a few meetings and miss all the fun

    I’m pleased with this move.

    They certainly added size. Bjugstaad has played more wing than Centre this year— but certainly has potential.

    Pens got younger and faster I believe.

    Don’t get the inference that they are “now” tight against the cap— $5.1M went out the door and $5.35M came in— $250K difference for a 1/3rd of the year— basically Cap wise this year, nothing has changed since yesterday and they had already freed up space with the questionable trade (IMO) of Oleksiak for a 4th rounder.

    Sorry Deee, I’m with Cmac, BlackNGold , and MG, I think this was a good move.

    I realize that Bjugstaad only has 5 goals but was injurred and I think the change in scenery and the pressure being off, will help increase his production.

    What do you think of :

    Sid , Geuntz, Bjugstaad
    Geno, Rust, Horny
    McCann, Pearson, Kessel
    Cullen, Simon, ZAR
    Blueger, Wilson

    The albatross still lies with having JJ play any games— if they can keep him completely off the ice (yes I dream)– then things are looking up

    There is still a possibility that GMJR makes another move— move out JJ— and big smiles all around

    He still needs to waive Ruhweedel

    Perhaps a depth D move (RHD????)

    I’ve got to head back to meetings

    PS: I doubt these guys will be able to fly in and play tonight

    • Pengy…hes not done a defenseman is coming..probably a vet to play bottom pair with pettersson….hes not done ferland anypne malkin out tonight tomorrow..hope thise guys get to town for tonight… heard a crazy rumor bjugstad maybe flipped to ottawa for pageau or dzingle nit sure how true that is..and brassatd flipped to Winnipeg or my nightmare Columbus..

      • I have fair confidence that Brass re-flipped …. I think it might more likely be Winn

        I can’t see the logic in re-flip of Bjugstaad for Dzingel …. Bjugstaad costs more and Ottw doesn’t want more $’s … and Dzingel producing much better this year …. so GMJR will have to give up more… hard to see

        Yep Gino out …. will be tough against Leafs tommorrow

        Hope you’re right re depth D

        Putting all jokes aside …. if they can somehow rid themselves of JJ and pick up a 3rd pairing RHD …. good to go and very good chance of getting to ECF

        JJ in the line-up …. odds plummet

        Still cannot understand why they still have Ruhweedel on roster

        Riikola/Petersson …. works ok

        If they pick up depth UFA RHD to play with Petersson and have Riikola as 7th D …. even better

        What extra do they have to offer up for a team to take JJ and give back UFA RHD???

      • You mean:

        Bjugstad + 1st rd pick



        (Not happening either way but you really think the sens would do that?)

    • Pengy….Penguins 5-3 late third period..but penguins up 4-1 jack Johnson directly respo sie for goals 2 and three against awful..he needs to go hes awful..

      • Yeah

        Was on tape delay…. just finished the back/forth watching of both Pens and Leafs games

        He was way out of position on the PP goal (they should not have him out there on special teams) and then they get him back out there 80 seconds later where his friggin good up causes the next goal … making the game closest that

        Liked how Rust, Kessel, Bjugstaad were clicking

        BTW …. NYI and TBay …. went to shootout …. both goalies got a shutout … TBay won

        Wash got late goal and also won …. nothing changed in the Metro

  9. Dumo Letang
    Olli Schultz
    Pettersson Johnson
    Rikola Ruhwedel

    D seems pretty done?

    • MG

      we really can’t afford to have JJ play any games in the play-offs

      Ruhweedel needs to be waived

      Depth RHD add ?

      I know Bieksa has already stated that he’d like to only come back if it’s in California …. won’t be Ana or LA …. perhaps if SJ doesn’t move on him ; GMJR can give him a call

      At 37 and having not played an NHL game in 8 + months …. he’s still 10 times the player JJ is

      He’d only cost $’s and no assets …. waive Ruhweedel and free up some space

      Just sayin’

    • Mg..they need depth veteran d-man to play third pairing with pettersson… maybe a ron hainset type..jordie benn jay boumeester adam mcquaid..someone like that..

  10. Wasn’t Mccan recently on waivers? Pens definitely added significant size and youth but speed nope. This move is to free up dollars for Florida and got some picks for it. Big fan of Bjugstad -Minnesotan and bloodlines and a first round pick but not top six on the Panthers when they were healthy and he has had only 2 – 3 good seasons. Upside for sure but Pens better right now not so sure

  11. Answered my own Q …McGinn not McCann on waivers

    A Smart GM doesn’t leave all the moves until trade deadline day. Sometimes they don’t get done if you do take that tactic . Prices I assume would also go up as well