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Reports: Columbus and Others Interested in Brassard

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PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 04: Pittsburgh Penguins Defenseman Olli Maatta (3) celebrates his goal with Pittsburgh Penguins Center Derick Brassard (19) during the first period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Winnipeg Jets on January 4, 2019, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

Just hours after Pittsburgh Hockey Now broke the dam with a report the Dallas Stars are showing interest in Pittsburgh Penguins center Derick Brassard, others followed, and the NHL trade rumors began flying.

Speaking during intermission on NBCsport, TSN reporter Darren Dreger dropped more information about the overall market for Derick Brassard. Wednesday, Pittsburgh Hockey Now was the first to report the Dallas Stars are interested and have been in contact with the Penguins, but Dreger went bigger.

“I think it’s strong because teams, contending teams, are always looking for depth up the middle of the ice,” Dreger said. “He can play in the No. 2 hole as a No. 2 center. He can play as a No. 3 center where he has been for the most part with the Pittsburgh Penguins.”

“It’s weird why it hasn’t worked out or why he hasn’t been a fit in Pittsburgh but there’s going to be a decent return. I believe the Penguins are going to need a center back, someone who can confidently play in the third spot.”

Buyer beware if teams acquire Brassard to play as a third line center. Though Dreger does hint the Penguins will seek a center rather than insert Riley Sheahan into the spot.

On the heels of Dreger’s comments on national TV came this late night, mini-bombshell from long-time Columbus beat writer, Aaron Portzline.

Yes, it would be a tricky business. One could forgive Penguins GM Jim Rutherford for asking for double the price from Columbus to avoid helping a likely playoff opponent. Brassard will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. His cap hit is $3 million as Vegas is picking up $2 million this season as part of the three-team-deal in which the Penguins sent Ryan Reaves to Vegas for the salary cap relief to acquire Brassard from Ottawa.

The Brassard situation is heating up, quickly.

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