Derick Brassard welcomes a second chance to unwind.
The 35-year-old Blassard, who celebrated his birthday on the first day of camp on Thursday, said he will play for his organization when the Ottawa Senators begin their preseason with the Toronto Maple Leafs in a divisional squad game at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday.
It may sound strange for a man with only 49 games to span the 1,000 milestone of his career, but Brassard spent part of two seasons here from 2016 to 2018 before being promoted to Senator 2. I’m back for my second stint. This time it’s different, he’s trying to win his contract.
Here at a professional tryout, he hopes to show general manager Pierre Dorion, coach DJ Smith, and the rest of his hockey operations staff. Brassard is willing to do whatever it takes to win the contract.
“There’s always pressure,” Brassard said. “Even if he gets a deal, he has to prove himself. A guy who gets an eight-year contract has to prove that he’s worth the money or that deal. It’s always the case.
“This is the first time I’ve signed for the PTO, I’m 35 and I’m not young, but I know I can help. I want to play well, play loose and have fun. increase.”
A native of Gatineau, Brassard wanted to go home and finish his career. He will be given every chance to make that happen during the preseason.
He was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for goaltender Philip Gustafsson at the 2018 trade deadline and returned to Ottawa with 118 games of NHL playoff experience. It was a year after the owner Eugene Melnyk and Dorion decided to plan this reconstruction.
“It’s a strange feeling because I was one of the first to leave,” Brassard said. It’s what players have earned for players like (Mark) Stone and (Eric) Carlson.
“They are no longer entry-level players. They are ready to take the next step and the attraction of this group is the talent. We have to play well as a team and play in a really good structure. take care of yourself.
“It feels good to be back. This is my hometown team and I already had a taste. It’s great to play and be in the playoffs.”
Blassard finished last season with the Edmonton Oilers and has worked hard this summer to be ready to play.
Who said you can never go home again?
“Staff are still here, everyone in the organization,” Blassard said. “It’s great to be back here and see familiar faces. I’ve played for many teams and it’s probably the best medical staff and all the people who work around the organization.
“It’s always fun to come back here.”
Brassard is thrilled with what the group can achieve. He’s been eyeing the likes of Brady Tkachuk, Tim Statzl, Josh Norris, and Thomas Chabot, and had a first-hand look at the additions of Alex Devlincat and Claude Giroud over the summer.
Ideally, he wants to be part of this group. Because Blassard believes this group is on the verge of something special.
“Everyone knows we got Devlin Cat, Giroud and Cam Talbot. I don’t want to forget the names, but this team is ready to take it to the next level,” Brassard said. rice field. “The (young) players are in their fourth or fifth year in the league and ready to take the next step.
“Adding a player like Giroud will take this leadership to the next level. I have confidence in this group. I know, but I’m sure we’ll have a good camp and stay here for the season.”
Brassard is the kind of player Smith can use at any forward position.
“He has to play a role for us,” said Smith. “He knows he’s in a bottom six situation and he knows his career is there. , has done them all.
“He has to show the management and coaching staff that he can still deliver that to an NHL team. His leadership speaks for itself.”
Brassard is determined to continue contributing.
“If he wasn’t hungry, he wouldn’t be here. “I’m going to give you a chance,” Smith said.
Reaching the 1,000 games milestone is a bonus for Brassard.
“You look for motivation every summer, and one of the motivations was trying to reach 1,000,” Blassard said. “Early in my career, I had a lot of surgeries and missed a lot of time. After four or five surgeries, it would be nice. I have.
“I just want to make sure I’m on the roster first.”
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