Brassard (not injury related) will make his debut with the Penguins on Tuesday against the Devils, Sam Werner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Brassard's visa clearance caused some concern that he wouldn't be available for the matchup, but it appears that's no longer an issue. He's expected to slot in alongside Conor Sheary and Phil Kessel on what could become a lethal third line for Pittsburgh moving forward. The improved talent around Brassard should result in an increase in production for the veteran pivot, though he will also likely experience a slight reduction in ice time with his new club.
Brassard, who the Penguins acquired from the Senators on Feb. 23, isn't certain to be available for Tuesday's game against the Devils, Jonathan Bombulie of TribLive.com reports. Because he's moving from a Canadian team to an American one, Brassard has to resolve his visa situation before getting cleared to play, an issue that most players moved prior to the deadline aren't facing. Brassard remained away from the Penguins during Saturday's 6-5 loss to the Panthers and said that he could miss an additional two or three games until his immigration papers are sorted out. Once Brassard is officially in the fold, he's expected to center Pittsburgh's third line, with Jake Guentzel and Phil Kessel likely flanking him on the wings.
Brassard's trade from Ottawa to Pittsburgh was officially executed Friday evening. The initial trade was Brassard to the Pens for a 2018 first-round draft pick, goalie prospect Filip Gustavsson and "other cap related elements," per TSN's Darren Dreger. However, Vegas would end up getting involved, with the expansion club sending Tobias Lindberg to the Penguins and reportedly agreeing to retain 40 percent of Brassard's salary this season in exchange for a 2018 fourth-round pick and Ryan Reaves. This very well could go down as one of the more complex trades in NHL history, but the big takeaway from a fantasy perspective is that Brassard is now a member of a Penguins club in pursuit of its third consecutive Stanley Cup. They're completely stacked down the middle with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Brassard centering the top three lines.
Brassard was traded from the Senators to the Penguins in exchange for a 2018 first-round pick, defenseman Ian Cole and goalie Filip Gustavsson, Darren Dreger of TSN reports. The Penguins have had struggles with Riley Sheahan as their third-line center this season, so even though Brassard is expected to go from the Senators' second line to the Penguins' third, consider it a major upgrade. The talents that surround him will be substantially better, as wingers Jake Guentzel and Phil Kessel have combined for 43 goals and 99 points this season. Brassard brings 18 goals and 38 points to the table, but he has just four goals and one helper with the man advantage, so he'll look to benefit from slotting into the league's top power play as well.
Brassard fashioned two points -- comprised of a power-play goal and an assist -- during Thursday's eventual 4-3 home loss to the Lightning. With the Senators out of the playoff hunt, rumors have it that Brassard and stud defensemen Erik Karlsson could be on the move. The point-packing forward has delivered six goals and four helpers over nine games this month, which undoubtedly heightens his appeal for other teams. Brassard, who earns $5 million annually, will be an unrestricted free agent following the 2018-19 season.
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