With the NHL Trade Deadline fast approaching, teams around the league are already making moves. Toronto started the action by trading for defenseman Jake Muzzin from Los Angeles. Now the Pittsburgh Penguins are once again getting in on the action.
As first reported by Kevin Weekes of the NHL Network, the Pittsburgh Penguins traded centers Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan along with a 2nd and a 4th round picks in 2019 to Florida for centers Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann.
*Breaking News* As per sources @penguins Trade Sheahan ,Brassard, 2nd & 2 4th Rd Picks in 2019 to @FlaPanthersPR for Bjugstad & McCann. @NHL @NHLNetwork #HockeyTwitter— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) February 1, 2019
NHL Trade Alert: Penguins trade Brassard for Bjugstad
This was another in a long line of hockey trades that have occurred over the past couple of years. For quite some time now, Brassard’s name has been on the trade block. Since coming over to Pittsburgh last year at the trade deadline, Brassard has not quite fit in with the Penguins. And with GM Jim Rutherford always looking to improve his team, Pittsburgh is once again going all in.
This trade involving Brassard will not be the last Pittsburgh makes this trade season. Since the beginning of the year Pittsburgh has made six trades. Not all of them been blockbusters like this one. In November, the Penguins acquired Tanner Pearson from Los Angeles for Carl Hagelin. The other moves involved players lower on the depth chart, which led to Pittsburgh turning things around and climbing up the standings.
As Bob McKenzie points this move allows Pittsburgh to trade players who are unrestricted free agents to be without losing a competitive edge in the standings.
Key for FLA is shedding salary commitments beyond this season, getting flexibility to potentially take a run at pending UFAs Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky. Key for FLA was turning expiring contracts into younger contract players without taking an immediate step back now.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 1, 2019
Correction: Key for PIT was turning expiring contracts into younger contract players without taking an immediate step back now.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 1, 2019
Florida on the other hand cleared $5.3 million in cap space. This will give the team a a projected $21 million in cap space. Of course this all predicated on cap staying at $79.5 million. In addition, the Panthers can now be more aggressive this coming off season.
Florida is one of many teams hoping to land Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky. With Panarin looking to leave Columbus, and Florida having no state income tax this could be a good fit for him.
Meanwhile, the Panthers will look to flip Brassard at the deadline. However, the team will evaluate his play and go from there. Brassard could be a good fit for a contending team out west. For example, a team like Winnipeg, who needs depth at the center position would be a really good fit.
Stay Tuned for more trade updates and rumors from Murphys Hockey Law as the NHL Trade Deadline approaches.