Photo Credit: © Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Did Vegas Just Run Interference On The Jets Getting Brassard?

The Ottawa Senators as expected traded Derick Brassard today and he’s now a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

If reports from Sportsnet’s John Shannon are true though, he could have been a Winnipeg Jet and we may have the Vegas Golden Knights to “thank” for him not making his way to Winnipeg.

The drama started earlier Friday afternoon when it looked like the Senators and Penguins had completed a deal to send the forward to Pittsburgh…

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The initial details were a bit fuzzy, but it seemed like it was a two team trade that involved Brassard going to Pittsburgh in exchange for goalie prospect Filip Gustavsson and forward Ian Cole. The deal at first glance seemed a little odd considering how up against the cap the Penguins were. There had to be some layers to it to make it work out in this crazy Salary Cap world, and as we started to find out there sure was and it involved the Vegas Golden Knights.

Shortly after we found out Vegas might be involved in the deal, the NHL seemed to stick their nose into matters:

Turns out, the league wasn’t thrilled with the idea of how all three teams were trying to circumvent and get around cap rules. All three teams went back to the drawing board and figured it out though and got a very complicated deal done.

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Teams like Winnipeg as well as the Columbus Blue Jackets who had eyes on, and in the words of more than a few “insiders” had made strong pitches towards Ottawa to get the top six center, were now shut out.

In the deal, it was found out Vegas retained some of Derick Brassard’s five million dollar cap hit. It seemed like a slightly curious move for Vegas – a team with a legitimate chance to make it all the way to the Cup Finals – to help a team they could potentially square off against for Lord Stanley’s mug.

Vegas and their general manager George McPhee were well aware of that, but their desire to help the Penguins may have been fueled by their desire to Brassard-block the Winnipeg Jets.

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*Insert “oryly.gif” here*

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And if Mr Shannon had left things at that, it would have given Jets fans plenty of room for thought and wonderment if it was perhaps THEIR team that was the club that VGK were trying to hinder.

Ten minutes later we got our answer…


This is how rivalries are born and suddenly a playoff meeting between Vegas and Winnipeg sounds like a LOT of fun right now.

It will be interesting to see how Kevin Cheveldayoff responds. Clearly he’s working the lines trying to add to his team’s depth and it’s time to go to plan B.

  • dreierlei

    I don’t get how such a weird scenario is allowed. I mean, come on, how can a third party retain 40% salary of a player that is not even theirs (or rather only pro forma to make the deal happen), just to prevent an opponent from getting said player? And how can such an obvious cap circumvention by the Penguins be accepted by the league? It’s kind of ridiculous. It shouldn’t work like that.

    (Yeah, I know, it’s the NHL. But still!)

    • zapper

      Who’s to say that the Jets did not have a similar deal in place with another team to retain salary? The Jets are up to their cap level, so they likely would have something in place if they were to swing the deal.