Trade season is officially upon us. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida Panthers pulled off a four-player deal on Friday. The Penguins sent Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan, their 2019 second and fourth round picks, and Minnesota’s 2019 second-rounder in exchange for Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann.
An impending unrestricted free-agent, Brassard never found his groove with Pittsburgh after being acquired from Ottawa last February. He put up just 12 goals and 11 assists in 54 games with the Penguins. He moves on to Florida for the time being, but don’t be surprised to see him get flipped again before the deadline. For the Panthers, this move was about stockpiling draft picks and creating more cap space next season.
Brassard and Sheahan are UFAs this summer
Bjugstad has two years left at $4.1M
McCann has one more year left at $2.1M and will become an RFA
Florida frees up a significant amount of cap room for next season https://t.co/KLVhYba6cM
— NHLNumbers (@NHLnumbers) February 1, 2019
Sheahan is a four-time double-digit goal-scorer that contending teams could seemingly be interested in. He registered 18 goals and 23 assists in 122 games over parts of the last two seasons with the Penguins.
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Bjugstad is the piece to be most excited about if you are a Penguins fan. He struggles to create offense on his own, but is an excellent complement to elite players. He registered 19 goals, 30 assists, and 230 shots in a full 82 games last season, skating predominantly with Aleksander Barkov and Evgeni Dadonov on the Panthers’ top line. Bjugstad bounced up and down Florida’s lineup this season and his production took a hit as a result. He is an excellent addition to Pittsburgh’s top-six and could serve as the right wing forSidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel, a spot currently held by Dominik Simon.
McCann is an effective two-way player capable of taking over for Brassard as the third-line centre. He can kill penalties and was a regular on Florida’s second power-play unit this season. His offensive contributions are modest, but he is on pace for 14 goals and 18 assists despite playing just 14 minutes a night.
Bjugstad and McCann are both expected to be in the lineup for tonight’s game against Ottawa.