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Penguins Trade Market: Movement on Derick Brassard
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Penguins Trade Market: Movement on Derick Brassard

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PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 27: Derick Brassard #19 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates in the third period during the game against the New Jersey Devils on February 27, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire)

The Pittsburgh Penguins are annually active at the NHL trade deadline. Jim Rutherford is a horse trader with uncanny creativity to get the player he wants at a price he wanted to pay. And now we’re going to see Rutherford in a rare situation: The 2019 trade deadline is a buyers market.

More than half of the teams in the NHL are currently selling. That is the Penguins opportunity. But it also makes Rutherford’s job more difficult.

The Penguins issue is rival GMs can compare anything the Penguins choose to sell with several other teams. Defenseman X from Team Y, or Defenseman A from Team B? It could be chaos as teams are forced to make hockey trades and figure out their best return.

Saturday evening and into the wee hours, Pittsburgh Hockey Now spoke with sources around the league. One name which is drawing mixed signals is Derick Brassard.

On the Penguins side, it now appears likely Brassard will not be a Penguin beyond the trade deadline. Multiple sources confirmed the Penguins have moved from “could” deal Brassard to expecting to deal the center.

Previous Brassard suitors, Colorado and Winnipeg eyed the Penguins forlorn center again this season. However, sources familiar with the thinking of both teams were unable to verify continued interest.

Brassard has not lived up to expectations in his Penguins tenure. The team skipped his line in crunchtime against Anaheim, and he has only played in the 12-minute range in each of the past two games.

The general sense is that as the trade winds blow, teams are shopping around. The deep market may provide a better deal, better fit or something entirely better. For some, Brassard could be that “better fit” or the deep market could lure suitors in different directions.

“Mixed signals,” was the recurring theme of one conversation regarding a Central Division team.

9 Defensemen

The Penguins will soon have nine healthy NHL caliber defensemen. In theory, the Penguins could solve their problem by sending Chad Ruhwedel and-or Juuso Riikola to the WBS Penguins. Ruhwedel would have to clear waivers, while Riikola is a rookie on his ELC, so he is waiver exempt.

That solution could also help the Penguins in the offseason as Riikola is arbitration eligible according to CapFriendly.com, but it doesn’t seem to be the path the Penguins prefer as Riikola could have been sent down numerous times this season.

And so the Penguins will have an overcrowded house in which someone is likely to find a new home. Early in the season, Olli Maatta’s name was mentioned as a possibility the Penguins would consider, but Maatta has been a top-four defenseman since.

The situations from Brassard to defensemen are not entirely in the Penguins control. There will be more than a few teams who get stuck with an asset or are forced to take lower than expected market value. And no one is quite sure who will be left without a chair when the music stops.

Deep Market

The deep market also means Carolina is unlikely to get their steep asking price for Michael Ferland, who seems a perfect fit for the Penguins. Ferland is a rugged winger who can score. He reportedly wants a contract similar to Tom Wilson’s deal in Washington.

The originally reported asking price included a first-round pick and more. Such an ask would most likely preclude the Penguins, but the broad market could drop the price to something more affordable. However, it’s unlikely Vegas will facilitate another deal to keep a perfect fit away from their competition. So the Penguins probably have to go this one alone.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now owner, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Zane Gearhart

    January 14, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    This is a big shame. I truly believed bringing Brassard could’ve been the key to another cup. If only he would be playing close to the level of his past we could have the most effective 3rd line in the league. Instead we gave up a 1st round, a prospect, a D, and a checking 4th line (who happens to have more points then brassard this year).

  2. Karen Beaudway

    January 14, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    Brass is tough. I love him as a player. But he’s a top 2 center. And we just don’t have that available for him. Even a third line with Kessel isn’t quite what he needs. So I suspect this was a fit issue, not a talent or performance issue. With Sheahan and Cullen, we just don’t need another center. That said, we seem to suffer a little at wing, so I’d love to see Ferland. I like Chad, but he is likely going to need to be traded or sent down, so he could be part of such a trade.

  3. Dean

    January 14, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    The pens already have a team with the skills to win a cup. Now it comes down to chemistry and a little luck. They should be very selective in any trades because chemistry is always a concern. They need a trading partner(s) that need a 2nd line center and has a big talented two-way third line center 27 or younger that can be the solution for the next 3-4 years. We also know that they are sitting on a luxury with 9 defensemen. The trade should be either Oleksiak or Johnson and a pick if need be. My preference is 21-23 year old Center prospect with some NHL experience and excellent upside.

  4. Zach Smith

    January 14, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    Brassard’s value isn’t completely gone, he just needs a change of scenery. He’s a career 2nd line center & that simply isn’t available for him since we have Crosby & Malkin. I’ll take having Sheahan & Grant as our 3rd & 4th line centers if we can get an upgrade on the 2nd pairing or 2nd line RW.

  5. Matt Luda

    January 15, 2019 at 1:53 am

    Brassard, Maatta and Jarry for MacKinnon and a second-rounder. #JustDoIt

  6. Jay95

    January 15, 2019 at 5:08 am

    Honestly, let Brassard play out the rest of the season. He’s better than anyone else we’re going to get. Yeah, you’re losing him at season’s end, but you can use the 4 million from he and Cullen to get a decent 3rd line center in the off season. Plus, Blueger’s ready.

    I feel like Brassard gives us the best chance this year. The only way I move him is if it’s in a package that for a younger, semi inexpensive, 3rd line center with a decent floor and ceiling . I just don’t see it happening unless a team can work a deal with Brass before hand…or, they love one of out dmen and Jarry.

  7. Pingback: Penguins Trade Market: Movement on Derick Brassard - Pittsburgh Hockey Now - NHL Rumor Mill

  8. Pingback: Dan’s Daily Links: Penguins Interested in Silfverberg? | Hockey Insider | NHL News, Drafts, Picks, Schedules & NHL Betting Online

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