Brassard excited to play in Philadelphia
Derick Brassard will begin the 2021-22 National Hockey League season with yet another new team – the ninth of his NHL career. But the 33-year-old couldn’t be more excited to begin playing in Philadelphia after signing a one-year contract worth $825,000 on August 25with the Flyers.
When talking to reporters, he couldn’t help but bring up a playoff series from 2014 and the experience he had playing against his new team. He was with the New York Rangers at the time and they beat Philadelphia in seven games.
“I was thinking about that last night and I actually remember my time with the Rangers, we played the Flyers in the playoffs and I remember there was like fights in the stands all over the rink there in Philly,” Brassard said, via NBC Sports.
“I like how passionate they are. I remember coming in and it’s kind of hostile a bit, they’ll be on your team. That’s what kind of excites me, too. To come into a city, a city that’s behind their Flyers and cheering really loud and everything. I think playing there is a special place and I’m looking forward as a player to play there.”
During his time with the Rangers, Brassard was coached by current Flyers’ head coach Alain Vigneault and enjoyed the most productive years of his career which is a big reason he opted to join Philadelphia.
“I think it was pretty clear in the conversation we had, me personally I wanted to join the Flyers and I think him as a coach wanted me to jump in with the group here,” Brassard said. “I feel like with everything they’ve done this summer, adding like five or six players or so, it’s going to give the team a good chance to succeed and have a really good regular season.”
The team also believes Brassard’s previous experience playing under Vigneault will help them during the upcoming campaign.
“A.V. is comfortable with Derick at center, is comfortable with him on the wing,” said Flyers’ co-president and general manager Chuck Fletcher last month. “Obviously he’s a guy that can win faceoffs, can move up and down your roster.”
Brassard was originally drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the sixth overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He would go on to play for the Blue Jackets, Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders and Arizona Coyotes before arriving in Philadelphia this summer. The veteran has played in 905 NHL regular season games and another 117 NHL playoff games.
According to the 33-year-old, he could have made a little more money signing with a team in the Western Conference but he believes he will be happier with the Flyers.
“But it’s all about fit and to have a chance to win,” he said. “I think the Flyers fit all the boxes for me. I’m super excited to be here…I talked to A.V. and it made me feel comfortable with what he was expecting from me.
“I’m turning 34 in September here. I’m just all in to have a good season and hopefully have a chance to win the Stanley Cup at the end of the day. I’m not saying we’re going to win it, but I think we have a pretty good shot with the roster that we have right now.”