Brassard Headed to Pittsburgh in 3-team trade

[hide]UPDATED 9:00 p.m. | Derick Brassard is officially a Pittsburgh Penguin, more than eight hours after the Penguins and Ottawa Senators requested a trade call with the NHL. The Penguins and Senators agreed to a complex deal to send Brassard to Pittsburgh around 12:30 p.m. EST. The deal that also included the Vegas Golden Knights as a third team was initially rejected by the National Hockey League around 4:00 p.m. Several hours later, a reworked deal has been approved by the NHL.


Pittsburgh receives: Center Derick Brassard (60% of cap hit-$3 million), Forward Vincent Dunn, Forward Tobias Lindberg, 2018 3rd round pick (OTT)

Ottawa Receives: Defenseman Ian Cole, 2018 1st Round Pick, Goaltender Filip Gustavsson, 2019 3rd round pick (PIT)

Vegas Receives: Ryan Reaves, 2018 4th round pick (originally Vancouver)


Trade Analysis

The Penguins accomplish their primary goal in acquiring Brassard, a player in the last month they’ve pegged as their No. 1 target. As well as Riley Sheahan has been playing lately, the Penguins get a game changer in Brassard when it comes to putting him into a third line role, where he’ll play a lot with Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel, a line that would be some teams No. 1 line.

Brassard, 30, has 18 goals and 20 assists on the season. A big time playoff performer, Brassard has 22 goals and 55 points in 78 career playoff games.

The trickle down effect with the lineup is that Brassard in a third line center role next to Kessel is going to provide significant matchup problems for the rest of the Eastern Conference.

That is what the Penguins kept coming back to when they decided to go all-in for Brassard and what also drove the Penguins to Brassard is that he’s also not a rental, with one year left on his contract.

Thanks to Vegas the Penguins also get Derick Brassard for a cap hit of $3 million per season. That is huge for next season.

— The deal was so complex and initially rejected (2 times) because the teams were trying to do four transactions which basically happened as Brassard was technically traded from Vegas to Pittsburgh as the Golden Knights will retain 40% of Brassard’s salary for this season.

Vegas also includes 22 year old AHLer Tobias Lindberg who was a 4th round pick in 2013. He can play a little, has 8 goals and 10 assists in 48 games for the Chicago Wolves. In 148 career AHL games, Lindberg has 68 points and a +2 rating. Lindberg is 6-foot-3, 225lbs and whose game is being a net-front presence and winning battles below the dots.

Dunn, 22, was a 5th round pick in 2013 and is a career minor leaguer, splitting time in the AHL and ECHL.

From the Vegas end, it’s not clear what benefit they get here in the deal other than George McPhee helping the Penguins out again as he took it easy on Pittsburgh during the expansion draft where he could have played hardball by selecting an exposed player than working out a separate trade for Marc Andre Fleury.

Here they help Pittsburgh, a team they could actually face in the Stanley Cup Final (as crazy as it sounds) by taking Ryan Reaves and retaining 40% of Brassard’s salary this season.

— Ottawa accomplished two primary goals in the trade.

[hide] They get a first round pick and most notably a high-end prospect in Filip Gustavsson. Gustavsson’s in-fact viewed as an outstanding prospect in league circles.

Sources say the Penguins tried to sell the Senators on Daniel Sprong for weeks but Ottawa had been insisting on Gustavsson and Pittsburgh eventually gave in to finalize the deal. They don’t get Brassard without Gustavsson.

Pittsburgh told teams for months Gustavsson was not available but when you have a 23 year old franchise goaltender in Matt Murray, the Gustavsson talk only ended up being a smokescreen.

As for Ian Cole, this was strictly about making the money work and [/hide] once Cole wanted out in late November, I don’t think Mike Sullivan really wanted him here, sources close to the situation have said.

Cole has been okay since returning to the lineup but I think there was a bit of media feel good story going around where his level of play was being overrated a bit.

All you had to do was see Mike Sullivan’s reaction Sunday on Cole’s third period turnover that led to a Blue Jackets goal as to why his spot on the roster/or lineup was still tenuous. He wanted to rip Cole’s head off in a game the Penguins were cruising.

Pittsburgh couldn’t get a second rounder for Cole To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!