Ottawa Senators centre Derick Brassard has been being dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Pittsburgh landed the coveted forward by sending a first-round pick in this summer's NHL Entry Draft, prospect goaltender Filip Gustavsson and veteran defenseman Ian Cole. The blue liner had been on the block for several months, especially since Pens general manager Jim Rutherford was looking to free up some cap space. Cole is expected to move again, before Monday's deadline, as the Senators could use him to land more picks and prospects in another deal. Ottawa has been expected to do the same with their veteran defender Johnny Oduya.
Cole is a unrestricted free agent this summer.
The Pens were not the only teams looking to land Brassard, as the Winnipeg Jets, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets were also looking to acquire the coveted forward. Brassard did have an eight-team ‘no trade’ list that he submitted last season and wasn’t changed coming into this year, so he did have some control over his destination.
It’s believed the Senators had been looking for a first-round pick and a prospect in exchange for Brassard, and they landed just that, and more.
Rutherford, on his side, had been looking to acquire help down the middle. For a while, the Pens were said to be looking at Brassard, but also at Montreal Canadiens' Tomas Plekanec and Michael Grabner, who was traded by the New York Rangers to the New Jersey Devils last night.
According to TSN insider Darren Dreger, the Pittsburgh Penguins were also looking to land Grabner, but removed themselves from negotiations before he was sent packing to New Jersey. Grabner did not take part in the Rangers' latest game in Montreal, where they faced the Canadiens last night. It is believed talks were quickly unfolding before the contest, potentially with Rutherford as well, but he ended up changing his mind. Dreger believes the price for Grabner was too high for Rutherford, who has been looking to add an offensive boost ahead of the trade deadline.
Despite being 30-years-old and playing for a team that has seemingly collapsed this season Brassard has remained a consistent performer for the Ottawa Senators thus far. He has also played for head coach Mike Sullivan, back when they were both members of the Rangers.
Now Rutherford is taking yet another gamble by moving his first-round pick, hoping it will pay off for a third consecutive championship.