Okay, so this is a complicated, complicated trade. It’s so complicated, it took the NHL most of the day to sign off on it.
The breakdown is best rendered as a who-got-who, so things are as follows:
The Pittsburgh Penguins have received forward Derick Brassard, prospect Vincent Dunn, Vegas Golden Knights prospect Tobias Lindberg, and Ottawa’s third-round pick for 2018.
The Ottawa Senators have received defenceman Ian Cole, goalie Filip Gustavsson, a first-round pick for 2018, and a third-round pick for 2019.
And the Vegas Golden Knights have acquired forward Ryan Reaves and a fourth-round draft pick for 2018.
Critically, the Golden Knights will be paying 40 percent of Brassard’s salary. No, that’s not a misprint.
The deal was, at the time of this posting, between the Senators and Penguins. But then the Golden Knights got involved and ponied up some green to keep Brassard on an Eastern Conference team. The conventional wisdom is that Vegas wants to avoid him as long as they can, so much so that they’re willing to pay part of his salary for the privilege.
Word around the campfire was that many teams were in the market for Brassard or a similar centre, with the Winnipeg Jets and Columbus Blue Jackets among the clubs in the running.
The 30-year-old packs a cap hit of $5 million and submitted a no-trade list to the Senators, which narrowed things down.
Brassard has 18 goals and 20 assists in 58 games this season, but his production on the power play has been less than stellar. That should change on the Penguins.
Brassard is expected to suit up as the third line centre on the Penguins.
One of the better pieces of this deal for the Senators are the draft picks, which are a first-rounder for 2018 and a third-rounder for 2019. Ottawa had been without a pick in the first two rounds of the upcoming draft thanks to the Matt Duchene deal, so this gives them a shot at what’s available in June.
Cole is in the final year of a three-year contract and will be an unrestricted free agent come summer. Some are suggesting that the Senators are already looking to flip him before Monday’s trade deadline.
Cole has three goals and 10 assists in 47 games this season. He carries a cap hit of $2.1 million and could provide a valuable supplement to an upcoming trade for Ottawa. In fact, the Senators were reporting calls about Cole already.
19-year-old Gustavsson was a second-round pick for the Penguins in 2016. He’s been playing in Sweden this season with Lulea HF, where he’s 8-9 with a .917 save percentage.