What does the future hold for Senators’ Brassard, Sabres’ Anderson? 

On this edition of 32 Thoughts, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discuss the latest on the bid for the Ottawa Senators, which NHL teams could be playing games in Australia next year, why Saginaw will host the Memorial Cup, and more.

A month after being celebrated in Ottawa for his 1,000th NHL game, Derick Brassard’s season has ended on an unfortunate note, the veteran undergoing a procedure Saturday that requires a six-to-eight-week recovery period.

With the 35-year-old’s big-league future uncertain, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman shed light on Brassard’s thinking amid his season coming to an early end.

“Brassard had surgery today to repair a broken fibula. He’s out for the rest of the season,” Friedman said Saturday during Hockey Night in Canada’s 32 Thoughts segment. “He just played his 1,000th game, and there are people wondering about what he’s thinking about his future. One thing about Derick Brassard is he loves hockey. And what he’s indicated is that he’s going to take time, he’s going to see how he recovers, he’s going to talk with the Senators, he’s going to talk with his agent, and then he’ll make his decision.

“But he’s going to take a little bit of time, and nobody should assume anything about what he’s going to decide.”

Brassard returned to Ottawa this season after spins with Edmonton, Philadelphia, Arizona, the New York Islanders, Colorado, Florida and Pittsburgh since his last go-round with the Senators. Prior to his first run with the Canadian club, he also spent a decade split between the New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets.

The winger’s logged 1,013 games over his time with those 10 franchises, collecting 545 points over the course of his career.

Friedman also shed light on what the future might hold for Brassard’s former teammate, Craig Anderson, who’s in his second season with the Buffalo Sabres after a lengthy run in Ottawa and shorter stints with Washington, Colorado, Florida and Chicago.

“Craig Anderson is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Buffalo’s last home game is their second-last game of the season — it’s on the 13th, and the Ottawa Senators are the opponent. That kind of has been circled for potentially an Anderson game,” Friedman said Saturday. “I don’t want to make any assumptions, but could that possibly be his last NHL appearance? That would be a perfect fit.

“I think that’s on the radar — I think the only thing that could complicate that is if that’s meaningful game for Buffalo, with the Sabres also in the race. I think if that one means something for them, it could complicate the situation.”

The 41-year-old goaltender is sporting a .908 save percentage and 3.07 goals-against average through 25 games with Buffalo this season. Through 708 total NHL appearances over his 20-year career, Anderson holds a career .912 save percentage and 2.86 goals-against average.

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