Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Brassard Familiar with New Team

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Brassard Familiar with New Team

Article excerpt

Derick Brassard played against the Penguins each of the past four postseasons.

Now, after the productive playoff performer misses two or three games while sorting out Visa issues, Brassard will join them for the Stanley Cup run this season.

It's not hard to tell that he's psyched about it.

"I'm just really excited to be joining the team that has won the last two Stanley Cups," Brassard said on a conference call Saturday with local beat writers. "I think it's a great opportunity for me right now in my career to have a chance to win. I'm just really, really excited to be joining the team."

The feeling is certainly mutual, and Brassard's proven track record in the playoffs is one of several reasons why.

In 78 career playoff games with the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators, Brassard has produced 22 goals and 55 points. His best run came in 2014-15, when he scored nine goals and 16 points in 19 games.

What changes for Brassard - who expects to be in Pittsburgh by Tuesday - after the regular season concludes?

"Playoffs are another level," Brassard, 30, said. "It's about the passion of the game, the emotion. I felt like, especially in New York, it really pushed me to push myself personally and try and be the best player I can be. You have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. That's the ultimate prize."

Anything less is unacceptable in Pittsburgh, especially after the Penguins loaded up again by adding Brassard, and he knows that. But Brassard also insisted on the call that he'll do himself no favors by worrying about that.

The key will be to do the stuff that made him successful with the Rangers and Senators and probably find a fit with expected linemates Jake Guentzel and Phil Kessel.

"I don't feel that pressure," Brassard said. "I'm just going to come in and try to play my game. They already have a solid core on that team. Basically, I'm going to come in and try to help them win some games."

Friday was hardly a routine day for Brassard - or anybody around the Penguins, for that matter.

Brassard said Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion called him around 2 p.m. to notify him of the trade. But then the league rejected it, leaving Brassard in a state of limbo for, oh, only about 7½ hours. …

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