December 30: Morgan reports that Brassard’s deal will be for one-year and $1.2MM in Arizona, while CapFriendly tweets that it is just for $1MM. The Coyotes have officially announced the term of the contract, though did not confirm the financial details. GM Bill Armstrong released a short statement on his new forward:
We are very pleased to welcome Derick to our Pack. Derick is an experienced, skilled forward who can play center or wing and contribute offensively. He is also very effective in the face-off circle. We look forward to having him in our lineup this season.
December 28: Phil Kessel and Derick Brassard, together again. Originally reported by former NHL forward Guillaume Latendresse and subsequently confirmed by several others including Craig Morgan of AZ Coyotes Insider, the Arizona Coyotes are working on a one-year deal with Brassard, an unrestricted free agent.
The 33-year-old Brassard experienced something of a career renaissance last season, finding a role with the New York Islanders and recording 32 points in 66 games. He was a strong performer in the postseason bubble as well, scoring eight points in 18 games for the Islanders even while averaging just 12 minutes a night. That came after a dreadful 2018-19 campaign that saw him struggle with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, and Colorado Avalanche, scoring just 23 points combined for the three teams. By signing with the Coyotes, Brassard would be joining the eighth NHL team of his career and fifth in just over two years.
Arizona recently sent Derek Stepan—a former teammate of Brassard’s—to the Ottawa Senators, opening up some room down the middle for a veteran player on a more inexpensive deal. Brassard is certainly that, and actually still does come with a long history of offensive success. A two-time 20-goal scorer, Brassard has registered at least 40 points in a season on six different occasions and has recorded double-digit goal totals in each of the last ten seasons. While his ability to play at the top of a lineup may have diminished, he still represents a solid depth add for the Coyotes as they try to get back to the playoffs.
Not only will he provide some offense and veteran depth, but if the Coyotes decide to pull the plug at any point this season he could be another trade asset. The team already has Alex Goligoski, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jason Demers, Jordan Oesterle, Ilya Lyubushkin, Drake Caggiula, and Antti Raanta on expiring deals, meaning the trade deadline could be used as a reset button to restock a draft cupboard that has been ravaged in recent years.