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Former Penguins Center Brassard Retires

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NHL trade, Pittsburgh Penguins, Penguins trade

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ trade in 2018 was supposed to lead to a three-peat championship. Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford worked a trade for Ottawa Senators center Derrick Brassard that was so complex that it was first refused by the NHL central registry and had to be reworked.

The Vegas Golden Knights even helped the Penguins acquire Brassard to keep him away from Vegas’s chief competition, the Winnipeg Jets. The deal got done, but it never worked. Brassard was not happy with this third-line role, and the Penguins lost in Round Two to the Washington Capitals. About one year later, the Penguins gave up and traded Brassard to the Florida Panthers.

Sunday, Brassard announced his retirement. After 16 seasons and 1013 NHL games, the forward known as “Big Game Brass” because of his playoff success both with the New York Rangers and Ottawa decided he would not attempt a comeback from his serious ankle injury.

Brassard did not play this season. He last played in 2022-23 with Ottawa and spoke with La Presse, a French outlet in Quebec, about his decision.

“I was starting to find (playing) heavy. I was often on the trainer’s table, playing as many games as possible. It’s frustrating when you’re not 100%,” Brassard told La Presse. “I still scored 13 goals in my final year. I could have pushed, but with the ankle, it was enough. I didn’t want to risk another operation.”

Brassard finished with 215 goals and 545 points. He played in one Stanley Cup Final (New York Rangers, 2013-14) and three other Eastern Conference Finals. He was the sixth overall draft pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets. He played for Columbus, the Rangers, Ottawa, the Penguins, Florida, Colorado, the Islanders, Arizona, the Philadelphia Flyers, and Edmonton.