Flyers grab another depth player in Derick Brassard

With the Flyers and defenseman Travis Sanheim avoiding arbitration this past Saturday, the Flyers achieved their last major priority for this offseason. Even with Sanheim’s fresh $4.675 million cap hit, general manager Chuck Fletcher still has a little over $1 million in salary cap to work with.

Fletcher and the Flyers utilized that remaining space earlier today.  Veteran Derick Brassard signed today on a very team friendly deal. This one-year deal is quite similar to Keith Yandle’s, with each being paid less than a $1 million (Brassard making $825K and Yandle making $900K).

According to CapFriendly, the Flyers now have $381,477 in cap space remaining after the signing. I honestly cannot hate this move, as he has always been a solid forward. Last season, he had 8 goals and 12 assists for 20 points in 53 games on a struggling Arizona Coyotes team.

Interestingly, Brassard happens to be yet another former New York Ranger joining the team as well. Kevin Hayes, Brassard and Yandle all played under current Flyer HC Alain Vigneault in the “Big Apple.” Hayes and Brassard played two full seasons together from 2014-2016, and all three played together for a full season in 2015-’16. Additionally, he also played with newcomer Cam Atkinson for a season and a half in Columbus.

Queue “The Boys Are Back In Town?”

Anyways, he is not the player he was in New York, which is understandable as that was six years ago. He actually has not really produced those totals since, either. Then you add in the fact he has bounced around the league like crazy since then (was traded three separate times during 2018-’19 alone). Even so, taking a flier on him for $875K to see what he has left in the tank is fine with me.

This is another risk-free deal essentially, and his best years happened to be under Vigneault as a Ranger. It also is never a bad idea to nab a guy who usually plays well against you. During Brassard’s 14-year career he has double digit goals against six teams, and the Flyers are included in that group (10 G, 5 A in 28 games against PHI).

However, maybe most overlooked here is Brassard’s playoff resume. For a guy that was never really a first line forward, when the Stanley Cup Playoffs roll around, he is an effective player.

Most notably, as a Ranger he had 18 goals and 26 assists (44 PTS) in 59 playoff games. During their 2014-’15 run specifically, he had 9 goals and dished out 7 assists (16 PTS) in 19 games. During Ottawa’s ECF run in 2016-’17, Brassard had 11 points in 19 games. He had 8 points in 18 games during his most recent playoff run with the Islanders in 2019-’20.

In a total of 117 playoff games, he has 69 points. He is now first place in career playoff games on the team. If all goes well and the Flyers make the playoffs this season, having an experienced player like Brassard could help in the bottom six.

Considering this singing was a surprise to me, we will have to see if Fletcher is done just yet.

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