It looks as though Derick Brassard’s time as a member of the New York Islanders has come to an end.
Despite some speculation that Derick Brassard could return on a short-term deal this season, The Athletic’s Arthur Staple reported on Monday that a return to Long Island was unlikely for the 33-year-old. Brassard signed a one year deal worth $1.2 million with the Islanders last offseason.
Doesn't sound like Derick Brassard will be returning to the #Isles. Not sure what his options are at this point, but no reunion on the Island. Possibly leaves room for #Isles to bring in a top-nine winger among remaining UFAs or a spot for a prospect with camp starting Sunday.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) December 28, 2020
The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta reported Brassard and the Arizona Coyotes are nearing a one-year deal.
Derick Brassard had an up and down year with the Islanders, ending the COVID-19 shortened season with 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists) in 66 games and developing chemistry with Jean-Gabriel Pageau after his arrival in New York. In the postseason, Brassard added another eight points (two goals, six assists) in 18 games.
While Brassard is a natural center, he was utilized on the wing by Islanders head coach Barry Trotz.
Earlier on Monday, Pagnotta suggested that there was a chance Derick Brassard could still return to the Islanders, but that the forward did have other options. And Staple suggested that the Islanders could pursue another top-nine winger.
For the Islanders, Derick Brassard would have helped fill the current holes the team has on the third line. Pageau will center that line, but it’s up in the air who will be on this wing. With Brassard now out of the picture, it opens up the door for the likes of Oliver Wahlstrom, Michael Dal Colle, or other internal options to vie for that spot.
The Islanders also have Ross Johnston or Josh Ho-Sang who could make a push for the role during training camp.
Brassard will be one of only a handful of players from the 2019-20 that won’t return to the Islanders in 2020-21. Unrestricted free agents Matt Martin and Andy Greene are expected to be re-signed once the dust settles on contract talks with Mathew Barzal.
The Islanders’ star forward remains unsigned.