As we draw closer and closer to the NHL’s February 26th trade deadline, the trade rumor hot stove continues to heat up. As always, the heat is on Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford to make a move and propel his team forward to another Stanley Cup championship. For those keeping track at home, that would be three in a row…
One name that consistently seems to pop up in trade discussion regarding the Penguins is Ottawa Senators center Derick Brassard. The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reported last week that the Penguins have expressed interest in the 30-year-old Brassard, but the asking price is a sticking point.
LeBrun’s colleague at TSN, Darren Dreger, weighed in on the situation, as well:
Whether or not you think the asking price is fair, it’s clear that the Penguins are interested. What’s the old saying? “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”
To give things more of a local perspective, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey weighed in on the rumors and even managed to get some insight from Rutherford, himself.
“The Penguins have reportedly expressed interest in Derick Brassard, but it’s important to remember interest and imminent are two very different words that start with the same letter,” said Mackey in his latest 20 Penguins Thoughts column for the Post-Gazette.
“The ask for Brassard is not small, perhaps a first-round pick, Daniel Sprong, an NHL regular and maybe more,” he continues.
As for Rutherford, he maintains that he’s in the hunt and expects to make a trade before the final buzzer sounds on Monday afternoon. “Yeah, I do,” Rutherford said in conversation with Mackey. “The stronger we can make our team and have depth at all positions, it helps us in the long run.”
So… what’s the latest? Well, some sources indicate that Rutherford has offered up rookie Sprong in a trade for Brassard, but Sens GM Pierre Dorion declined.
Whether or not Brassard ends up in Pittsburgh or not remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Rutherford has zeroed in on his target. Will he get his man before 3pm on Monday afternoon? Time will tell.