The Pittsburgh Penguins finished a 6-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday that put them back in first place in the Metropolitan Division, then found out that Derick Brassard would be joining them in their attempt to win the Stanley Cup for a third straight season.
"Obviously, we're going for it," forward Patric Hornqvist said. "That's the kind of organization you want to play for."
Brassard, a 30-year-old center, was acquired from the Ottawa Senators in a three-team trade that included the Vegas Golden Knights and cost Pittsburgh defenseman Ian Cole, forward Ryan Reaves, goaltender prospect Filip Gustavsson and two draft picks.
[RELATED: Brassard traded to Penguins | 2017-18 NHL Trade Tracker]
"Our mandate is to win now," Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said. "We can hang on to those futures and they can probably help three or four years down the line, but what we're trying to do now is win and put the best team out there. This deal gives us the best chance."
Brassard has 38 points (18 goals, 20 assists) in 58 games this season and has played all of his 12 NHL seasons for a team in the Eastern Conference (Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Rangers, Senators).
"He's a hell of a player," Hornqvist said. "He can play both sides of the puck. He's good on the power play, he's good down low in our end too. He's a 200-foot guy."
Cole won the Cup with the Penguins the past two seasons; Reaves was in his first season with Pittsburgh.
"It's hard because you have two guys you like who are leaving," defenseman Kris Letang said. "It goes both ways. You are getting a top player, but at the same time, you're losing guys who have been in our room for a little bit."
Pittsburgh (36-22-4) leads the Washington Capitals by one point in the Metropolitan. The Penguins were seventh in the division Jan. 1.
"I think our team does everything they can to give us the opportunity to win," captain Sidney Crosby said. "We've been playing good hockey here, so we need to continue to do that. Hopefully we can stay with the pace and keep going."
NHL.com correspondent Kurt Dusterberg contributed to this report.