As we continue to move toward the NHL's trade deadline, we'll be looking at various scenarios that could potentially involve the Jackets. Yesterday I posted a primer article, and today I want to look at the situation with Derick Brassard.
I teased the idea of a potential Brassard trade in my New Foundation post a few weeks back, and in that piece and the subsequent poll, we determined that Brassard isn't likely a part of the new foundation going forward. We know exactly what kind of player he is and will be, and that is a center who will score at around a half-point per game, is below average in the faceoff dot, and doesn't play physical. His zone start percentages have moved away from the defensive zone, to Ryan Johansen territory. His Corsi Rel QoC remains midrange on the Jackets, and is becoming more negative as the season wears on.
I'm not trying to downplay his contributions or abilities. He's currently third in team scoring, and is a creative playmaker who when paired with a shooter, can rack up the points. While the advanced stats and the eyeballs don't always leave one satisfied with his play, he is nonetheless an offensive threat, who when deployed properly can be an impactful contributor.
Pardon the cliché, but I think Brassard needs a change of scenery. He's been with the Jackets through all of the ups and downs, and a move to a playoff team where he can be a secondary contributor may give his career a boost.
He wouldn't be a rental player, as he is signed through the end of next season at a cap hit of $3.2 million. There are few teams who would be willing to take on additional salary at the deadline, especially with the salary cap going down to $64.3 million next season, but one team in particular seems like a great fit.
A quick look at Cap Geek shows that the Senators are positioned quite well next year, with projected cap space of $24,452,500, with 16 players signed. On the ice, they will have a big hole to fill in the top six if/when Daniel Alfredsson retires. Additionally, Guillaume Latendresse is a UFA and may not be brought back. Assuming Alfredsson and Latendresse are out of the picture, the Sens have Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Kyle Turris, Mika Zibanejad and Jakob Silfverberg as top-six forwards. Throw in a Derick Brassard and you have a damn fine pair of scoring lines.
I noted in the new foundation article that Brassard is from Hull, Quebec, which is minutes away from Ottawa. The allure of playing in front of family and friends on a consistent basis may provide an additional boost to his career, in addition to playing on a contender. His buddy Marc Methot is there to ease the transition.
If a deal with the Sens went down, Ottawa may try to send an expiring contract back this way, for roster limit and financial reasons. Names like Latendresse, Peter Regin, or even Colin Greening (who has one year left after this one) could be involved. While a first round pick would be nice, I don't see the Sens parting with more than a second or third rounder. Columbus may have to sweeten the pot with a midround pick to get that second.
Derick Brassard and a 5th round pick to Ottawa for Latendresse/Regin/Greening and a 2nd round pick.
How does that sound? Brassard gets a fresh start in a great situation. Columbus gets a good draft choice in a deep draft, and a chance to watch a player for the rest of the season, to determine if he's part of the group going forward. If it's Greening, that would be a good thing.
Of course, this is just spitballing in the interest of sparking discussion. Let me know what you think, should the Jackets trade Brassard? Is Ottawa a fit? How about the return I proposed?
Hit up the comments.