Senators’ Brassard on potential trade: ‘I’ll play hockey anywhere’

NHL insider Chris Johnston joins Jeff Marek to talk about the rumours of Derick Brassard being open to a trade to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the future of Erik Gudbranson with the Vancouver Canucks and more.

As 30 general managers continue to circle the Ottawa Senators‘ roster approaching a trade deadline that could see the Canadian club sell off a few elite pieces, one of the team’s best shared his own feelings regarding a potential change of scenery.

Pressed for comment on a possible trade in the near future, centreman Derick Brassard told The Columbus Dispatch‘s George Richards that while he’s focused on playing well for Ottawa at the moment, he’s open to plying his trade for another club as well, if need be.

“Let’s say it it this way: I will play hockey anywhere,” Brassard told Richards on Friday morning.

Currently lining up as the Senators’ No. 2 centre, Brassard has a modified no-trade clause (allowing him to list eight teams to which he would not accept a trade, according to CapFriendly) and one more year on his contract, paying him $5 million annually.

Asked if he’d consider a move to Columbus, where he played the first six years of his career, Brassard made it clear the Blue Jackets are certainly an option.

“I’ll play anywhere. I wouldn’t refuse to go anywhere in the world or anywhere in the East,” Brassard said. “I have really good memories of playing in Columbus, we had a lot of fun.”

Preparing to line up against his old team on Friday evening, Brassard said he still looks fondly upon the organization that gave him his start in the big leagues.

“It’s my first team and there are really good people there who work for the organization, great fans, and I still have good friends on that team” Brassard said. “They have good prospects in the system and are well-managed and well-coached. They have built a pretty strong organization.

“They are going to be one of the top teams in the east for a while.”

The 30-year-old reiterated he’s focused on helping the Senators succeed at the moment, but if the 29th-ranked club looks to move assets and turn their attention to 2018-19 early, it seems it won’t be too difficult for general manager Pierre Dorion to find a deal that works for his star centre.

Coming over in a 2016 trade that sent former top-line pivot Mika Zibanejad to the New York Rangers, Brassard has amassed 23 goals and 62 points over a season and a half in Ottawa. He has nine goals and 23 points to his name this season, ranking among the top three scorers on Ottawa’s roster in both categories.