The Ottawa Senators have deemed Derick Brassard available, but only for a very high price. According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, the team is looking for a first-round pick, top prospect and a third piece of some sort in exchange for the veteran center. Brassard is under contract for 2018-19, and does hold an eight team no-trade clause.
Senators’ GM Pierre Dorion was recently extended in Ottawa, after laying out his long-term plan for the franchise with owner Eugene Melnyk. While it’s unclear exactly what that entails, especially regarding the upcoming free agency of Erik Karlsson, making Brassard available indicates a willingness to retool the core of the organization. The team already traded Kyle Turris earlier this season, and now seem ready to move another veteran center. With Zack Smith and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also in the rumor mill, the center depth of the club could be devastated in the next few weeks.
Ottawa is in a fight for the first-overall pick this season, despite some better play of late. They currently sit in 29th place, and Brassard hasn’t been able to do anything to change the outcome most nights this year. Though he does have 14 goals and 30 points, he hasn’t been able to create much on the powerplay and is under 50% in the faceoff dot.
Still, for years Brassard has been a positive possession player. For any team looking to add a solid middle-six center who can drive play while also being responsible in his own end, the 30-year old could be a good fit. His $5MM cap hit is a little high for teams looking to use him in a third-line role, but the actual salary is much lower—a prorated amount of $2MM this season, and just $3.5MM total next.