The Philadelphia Flyers will just not stop adding some damn dudes to this damn roster!
Announced by the team on Wednesday, they have signed free agent center Derick Brassard to a one-year, $825,000 deal.
OFFICIAL: We've signed forward Derick Brassard to a one-year deal! ✍️ https://t.co/Qd1YwAFjqA— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) August 25, 2021
Brassard, 33, is a veteran’s veteran forward, having appeared in a total of 905 NHL games for eight(!) different organizations. Now his ninth in Philadelphia, Brassard is reunited with his former head coach during his time as a member of the New York Rangers, Alain Vigneault. The center played three seasons under Vigneault from the 2013-14 season to his 2015-16 season, the latter being the one campaign where Brassard scored a career-high of 27 goals.
Previously known for his two-way ability, he has now become more of a defense-first kind of player, but that might also just be him being a victim of his teams’ play style. Most recently playing for the Arizona Coyotes and New York Islanders — and in depth roles at that — he was able to cobble together 52 points over the 112 games across both seasons, leaving more to be desired but still capable enough. Unfortunately enough, during his last three seasons, Brassard has consistently been a sub-50 percent guy in terms of shot attempt share and expected goals share at 5-on-5 play.
In terms of where he fits on the Flyers, he might just simply share the fourth-line center role with Nate Thompson, having them swap out depending on the opponent — more physical teams for Thompson and the need to have some presence in the offensive zone for Brassard. At least in desperate situations, Brassard has experience playing up the lineup and can cash in centering some more skilled wingers, if needed. Like really needed.
If he can find some of that previous success under Vigneault and keep the underlying numbers at bay playing against weaker competition alongside the Flyers’ solid depth forwards, then maybe this will be a bounce back season for Brassard. Here’s hoping.