The Colorado Avalanche acquired Derick Brassard from the Florida Panthers via a trade on Feb. 25. Since then, the forward has notched two goals in seven games in a Colorado sweater.
Brassard, a first round (sixth overall) pick from the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2006 NHL Draft, spent time with both the Panthers and the Pittsburgh Penguins this season. He generated 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in 40 games with Pittsburgh and notched four points (one goal, three assists) over 10 outings with Florida.
The 6-foot-1, 202-pound forward has recorded 449 points (174 goals, 275 assists) in 773 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Penguins, Panthers and Avalanche. He has also accumulated 59 points (23 goals, 36 assists) in 90 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
The Hull, Quebec, native represented Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championships, helping his team capture the goal medal with 11 points (five goals, six assists).
Brassard recently sat down with ColoradoAvalanche.com to talk more about his transition to the team and his outlook on the sport.
How has your transition to Colorado been so far?
"It's been good. I just moved into an apartment and I feel comfortable around here. It's a good team with a lot of good guys. They made me feel really comfortable so it makes it a lot easier."
Who has been the most helpful in aiding your transition to the Avalanche?
"I can't pick one, really. But it's always nice when you know some guys and I knew some of them before, which helps a lot. But, everyone's been really nice whether it's the staff, medical staff, everyone who works for the team, everyone's been really good to me."
What was it like to score in your first game as a member of the Avalanche?
"It was an amazing feeling. You never know when you're playing on a new team when it's going to happen, you just try to fit in and you just try to make everything simple because there's a lot of nerves involved in the games. There's a lot of things going through your head and I was just happy to help the team to get a point."
What is your favorite hockey memory?
"Probably winning gold at the (2016 IIHF) World Championship two years ago. It was a pretty cool experience with Canada."
How would you describe your playing style?
"I see myself as an offensive player--I see the ice well and can shoot the puck. I feel like this team can kind of give me a good opportunity to do that. And I'm working every day to improve and we have 13 games left, so that can be good to get some points and try to get into playoffs."
Do you have a pregame routine?
"No, I try and mix it up how I feel. The game's already mental, so I don't want to start doing the same stuff because something could happen. I just want to go day by day and see how I feel. I just enjoy coming into the rink and being with the guys and practice before the game. It's fun to be part of the team, especially when you've got a good group and good guys around the team."
As a veteran, what is your philosophy towards the game?
"Once you make it to the NHL, I think it's already a big accomplishment, but at the same time there's a lot of good players around the world. I think whether it was my coach in minor hockey or my dad, I think it's just to work hard every day. Whether it's practices you always can improve and that's something that I've learned over the years watching some superstar players working on their game all the time. Always try and improve whether it's during the summer or during the season. Show up to work and you try to work and try to compete every day and everything's going to take care of themselves."