Chuck Fletcher and the Philadelphia Flyers added some depth on Wednesday. The team announced that they have signed Derick Brassard to a one-year contract worth an average annual value (AAV) of $825,000.
Brassard is a veteran center that has experience playing with a few key members of the Flyers, including head coach Alain Vigneault.
Brassard, 33 (9/22/1987), has played 905 NHL games over a 14-season career that has included stops with eight franchises. He was most recently with the Arizona Coyotes, where he scored eight goals and added 12 assists for 20 points in 53 games last season.
A 6-1, 202-lb native of Hull, Quebec, Brassard also brings 117 games of playoff experience to the Flyers after playing for teams that won at least one playoff round in seven of his last nine seasons, including eight appearances in Game 7 of a playoff series over that time. He spent parts of four seasons with the New York Rangers, who acquired him from Columbus in a six-player trade on April 3, 2013, and helped the Rangers reach the postseason in all four of those years. The Blueshirts moved past the second round in three of those seasons, including an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 and a return to the Eastern Conference Final in 2015. Brassard’s time with the Rangers included three seasons playing for current Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault, as well as time spent playing with Flyers forward Kevin Hayes and defenseman Keith Yandle.
Brassard was traded to the Ottawa Senators during the 2016 offseason and helped the Senators reach the 2017 Eastern Conference Final, his third appearance in the third round over a four-year span. He was then acquired by Pittsburgh in a trade-deadline deal in 2018 and helped the Penguins through to the second round of the playoffs that year.
Brassard started the 2018-19 season with Pittsburgh before being traded to Florida on February 1. He was then traded to Colorado two weeks later in another trade-deadline deal and again reached the second round of the playoffs. Brassard signed with the New York Islanders in the offseason and after the 2019-20 COVID stoppage, he helped the Islanders reach the 2020 Eastern Conference Final.
Prior to joining the Rangers, Brassard spent parts of six seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who drafted him in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut with Columbus on January 11, 2008, and went on to appear in 309 games for the club, including two seasons playing with Flyers forward Cam Atkinson.
Over the course of his 905 career games, Brassard has 194 goals and 309 assists for 503 points, along with 419 penalty minutes. He has also scored 25 goals and added 43 assists for 68 points in his 117 playoff games.
Brassard will be in the mix for the Flyers’ bottom-six center roles. He joins Nate Thompson as a veteran free agent signing this offseason. They’ll compete for a roster spot with Morgan Frost, Tanner Laczynski, and others. It’s never a bad idea to have some internal competition.
Photo: Heather Barry Images