Fallout of the Derick Brassard Acquisition
Thanks to a helping hand from the Vegas Golden Knights, the Derrick Brassard trade was as complex as it gets for 69 year old Penguins GM Jim Rutherford.
“This is the most complex trade I’ve made,” Rutherford said following the Penguins 6-1 win vs the floundering Hurricanes. “We thought we had the deal made earlier in the day. It wasn’t made. We had to make a couple of changes and go through all those things. It took quite a bit longer than most.”
Last week Pittsburgh starting setting the wheels in motion to potentially trade Ryan Reaves to Vegas that had no connection to Derick Brassard at the time, but in the days leading up to Friday’s trade, the perfect storm happened for Pittsburgh where Vegas was willing to keep 40% of Brassard’s salary/cap hit to help facilitate the deal.
Some executives are livid about the deal.
One NHL exec frustrated with the setup of the trade feels Pittsburgh got more from Vegas than just a lending hand on Brassard.
“Just watch…..they’ll [Pittsburgh Penguins] even find a way to resurrect the Lindberg kid, ” the NHL source said.
— Vegas GM George McPhee on the deal:
“I thought it was a good deal for our hockey club,” McPhee said via the review journal. “We had salary cap space to do it.”
The growing consensus is McPhee decided to help out an old friend in Rutherford to prevent Brassard from going West. The Golden Knights, though, really like Reaves and St. Louis was forced to protect Reaves in the expansion draft last June because they believed Vegas was going to select Reaves.
As for McPhee possibly wanting to keep Brassard from going west, it became known early Friday that Ottawa preferred to deal with Winnipeg, but league sources said early yesterday the Jets were not among the 23 teams on Brassard’s initial list from December he would accept a trade to, therefore, talks with the Penguins got really heated Thursday night and into Friday morning.
“We heard there was some talk about him going [West],” McPhee said. “Materially, was that part of the deal? No.”
— Jim Rutherford yesterday when asked by a reporter as to why he wanted Brassard.
“Have you seen him play?” Rutherford said. “He’s got 18 goals. He’s got 38 points. He plays center. We’ve tried to get more depth at center and get more insurance there. Our centers have played pretty well, but you have to have a lot of strength at center. We just felt, when we had a chance to get a guy like this, this was a good addition.”
Rutherford talked about Brassard being a seamless fit to the lineup and it’s been no secret that Brassard has been at the top of Mike Sullivan’s wish list for months.
“Derick, he distributes the puck really well,” Sullivan said of the 30 year old center. “He sees the ice, he’s got real good offensive instincts. Regardless of who we play him with, he’s going to bring that element to the line. He’s good on faceoffs, but he’s got real good offensive instincts. He’s been a top-two center ice man in the league for a long time and I know he’s going to make our team better. I think he can play the style of play that we’re trying to play and I think he’ll fit right in.”
With the Brassard addition, the Penguins would seem to be set with Riley Sheahan as the 4th line center but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Sheahan very likely will stay, but industry chatter is the Penguins are not fully committed to keeping Sheahan at the deadline as interest has spiked from multiple teams and a source says Sheahan’s projected salary of $2.25-$2.5 million next season could also be a factor in the Penguins thinking with Bryan Rust, Patric Hornqvist, Jamie Oleksiak among the higher priority players needing new deals next year.
The Penguins are certainly listening to inquiries on Sheahan, league sources confirm.
And for whatever reason, Jim Rutherford hasn’t given up on bringing Matt Cullen back, [hide] despite the Minnesota Wild surging and Cullen’s role increasing.
PIT, obviously, doesn’t have much cap flexibility but will continue to look at trade possibilities. The oft-rumoured return of Matt Cullen to PIT is by no means guaranteed but it still could be a consideration before the deadline.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 24, 2018
Cullen might be loved by the Penguins and fan base, but Pittsburgh is a better hockey team with Brassard-Sheahan as the 3rd and 4th line centers than Brassard – Cullen.
— Despite being up against the cap, it could still be an interesting next two days for the Penguins. Though there’s no evidence right now this will be the case, who knows, Rutherford could even approach Jason Botterill about Evander Kane again about a package centered around Conor Sheary as the market is weak for Kane. No one close to the situation will say no way at this point.
Those talks were frequent in early January when the Penguins were struggling but they haven’t resurfaced to this point and from Pittsburgh’s end, how much change do you really want with how well the Penguins are rolling?
That said,[/hide] management is said to have a level of concern about Crosby’s caliber of wingers if Guentzel stays on the third line, so you never know.
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Offense is no longer an issue! GMJR better secure that back end. Florida proved it tonight that with Ian Cole gone the back end is weak and Jarry is not a trust worthy backup if Murray goes down. Plus with Reaves out of the picture they got out hit more then two to one. I know it was a back to back but these things add up. Matt Cullen and E. Kane will not fix defensive woes. They need a Hansey type deal, an under the rader stay at home D man. The depth at D last year was a… Read more »
Gotta factor in that Florida road trip too. I mean that goal gets called going the Pens way, which is should have, it’s a different end.
Jarry has a bad start and the Pens were a little off at points. They were on a six game win streak so we might be overreacting a bit here. Cole will be missed and I hope they fill that hole like you said but there is no sense it letting one rough go in Florida paint a darker picture than what the circumstances really are
Hunwick is a fuckin train wreck!
Hope Brassard can play Left D
Where is Chad R? Hunwick blows.
Sheehan -4, hunwick guentzel -3
Jets, Kings interested in Nash and now bruins are in that mix as well
They need a defenseman. Hunwick blows. Maybe youve heard.
4 5v5 points between Malkin and Kessel and they lose… because Crosby decided to take the weekend off with only a single PPG second assist
Sam? What happened?
No Reaves no win. 🙂 actually no Cole and no clutch save when needed.
Cole will be missed, hole that needs filling for sure. Hunwick is fucken trash
Good game, Pens are hot… had a FLA team ready to play. If Sid had only showed up to help Malkin!!!
Crosby no points and -3…
Nvm… Sid got an assist on the PPG… specialist!
Kessel has to get the puck out there.
What number will brassard 16 or 19
Well his jersey, 19, already hit the net
Didn’t Bennett retire #19?
Lol. That bum still hasn’t played 200 games in the NHL
Countdown for trade deadline line. Oops I meant for site crashes
Get a defenseman. Hunwick is just awful. Hanging Chad needs to get a jersey next game.
Jack Johnson asked for a trade and having a fresh start with his buddy sid would be good. And he is better then the majority the defence we have now. So jackets retain some of his salary. Plus they need a scorer package sheary zerotools boy in there
If this site can’t handle saturday traffic, what’s it going to do Monday?
Blow it up!
It happens every time when trade deadline approaches npl gets exited and activates his other accounts and talks to himself about trade scenarios overloads the site with his spam presence . Then you’ll have tbj drooling every 5 mins over all 800 players or so coming to play for Pittsburgh penguins
From the guy that thinks the pens can land Johnson
Plekanec healthy scratched tonight
Brassard to join team by Tuesday. Due to visa issues. Meanwhile we have thousands of boarder crossers everyday without visa
The difference is, they don’t pay taxes
See we are getting ready for trade deadline on here.
I don’t think you keep Guentzel on the 3rd line with Brassard. You had him down there because you had to surround Sheahan with as much offense as possible. Guentzel imo is a natural fit with Crosby. He has an incredibly fast release and has a knack for getting into the right spots. Rust, Hagelin, Guentzel, Horni, Kessel, ZAR, Sheary can all fill in top 9. Adding Kane is icing on the cake, but not needed imo. Sheahan won’t be signed, so you have to think if they swap out Sheahan and replace with Cullen, where they spending that extra… Read more »