The Derick Brassard trade made big headlines when it was struck, unfortunately it was news to Brassard himself.
According to NHL.com's Chris Stevenson, when Brassard was traded from the New York Rangers to the Ottawa Senators in July for Mika Zibanejad, he learned the news from former Rangers' teammate Martin St. Louis before being notified by the team.
"I think Ottawa is an up-and-coming team," St. Louis told Brassard. "I think it's going to be good for you."
Brassard was caught very much off guard by the text message. "I was like, 'What is he talking about?' After that, my phone started blowing up."
His confusion quickly turned to elation, as he feels good about being able to play so close to home. Brassard was born in Hull, Quebec, just a stone's throw away from the city of Ottawa.
"Playing in front of my friends and family is going to give me another edge to my game," Brassard said.
The 29-year old has carved out quite the career for himself, remaining productive throughout his career. The former first-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets is coming off the two most productive seasons of his career, registering 60 points in 2014-15 and scoring a career-high 27 goals last season in New York, finishing with 58 points.
Brassard will be one of the only players on the Sens' roster with extensive playoff experience and is already projected to be the team's second-line center.
"I want to show everyone (the Senators) made a good choice," Brassard said.