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Official: the Islanders have signed Derick Brassard

The free agent center looks to be moving to Long Island for a one-year deal.

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders
This isn’t from the playoff series because he was traded from Pittsburgh before that.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Islanders are reportedly bringing in Derick Brassard to fill their current hole at 3C. So the kids GM Lou Lamoriello mentioned last week are going to have their work cut out for them.

Not because he’s a terribly tough candidate to beat, however. Just because he probably doesn’t sign here if the spot isn’t almost guaranteed to be his.

The center, who is going to be 32 in September, is coming off the worst season of his career, a season in which he dressed for three different teams: the Penguins, the Panthers, and the Avalanche. He played in 70 games and managed just 23 points, but 14 of those points were goals.

The season before last, in 2017-18, he recorded 38 points in 58 games with the Senators before being dealt to the Penguins at the trade deadline; he wasn’t a pure rental, as he still had one year left on his contract beyond that season.

At the time, it seemed like the Pittsburgh’s annual shrewd move that would vaunt them toward playoff success, as he was playing like a second-line center and was third on the depth chart behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

However, the 3C role didn’t suit him very well, and the Penguins packaged him for Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann from Florida this past season. Florida then flipped him to Colorado right before the deadline, where he also didn’t do a ton of damage.

Presumably, he’s not being brought in for his defensive reliability, because that’s never been his reputation - interestingly enough, this past season, his game was actually quite similar to Valtteri Filppula’s, but Filppula, you’ll remember, was sought out for his ability to generate defense.

Perhaps, with the right linemates and some heavy sheltering, he could regain some of the form that saw him score 60 points in 2014-15 on the Rangers playing with, if I remember correctly, Mats Zuccarello and Rick Nash. We already know that coach Barry Trotz leans more heavily on the Martin-Cizikas-Clutterbuck line for defensive responsibilities, so Brassard being brought in would probably mean that the third line would be more of an offensive line.

I think I just talked myself into not hating this signing if he plays with, say, Michael Dal Colle and Josh Bailey, or Dal Colle and Josh Ho-Sang, or maybe Anthony Beauvillier. But a) the acquisition has yet to be confirmed and b) if that news is true, the terms will dictate how happy I am with it. Anything more than one year would disappoint me unless it’s a league-minimum salary for two years or something like that. But for now, we wait.

We’ll update this post once we get confirmation.

UPDATE: The deal is now official. One-year, so who cares what the salary is?

For what it’s worth, though, the deal is only for $1.2 million.