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Islanders Derick Brassard not returning for 2021 season

Sep 15, 2020; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN;New York Islanders forward Derick Brassard (10) stretches during warmup against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game five of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 15, 2020; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN;New York Islanders forward Derick Brassard (10) stretches during warmup against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game five of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
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Derick Brassard will not be returning to the New York Islanders. The UFA forward reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Coyotes.

On Monday, The Athletic’s Arthur Staple indicated that UFA forward Derick Brassard would not be returning to the New York Islanders for the 2021 season. We later found out that he was signing a one-year deal with the Arizona Coyotes.

Brassard was brought in on a single years $1.2 million deal in August of 2019 to replaced Valtteri Filppula who had signed with the Detroit Red Wings. In 66 games last season Brassard put up 32 points playing primarily as a winger on the third line.

The immediate thought now is; who takes his place in 2021?

Spot on Line 3

With no Brassard in 2021, there’s an immediate need for a third-line winger in 2021. Who fills that spot is going to be an interesting question with the Isles gearing up for training camp in less than a week’s time.

Putting one of their promising forward prospects in that position seems like the easy answer. Guys like Oliver Wahlstrom, Otto Koivula, or Kieffer Bellows would be welcomed additions to the lineup not only for their play but for their cheap cap hits.

A less obvious answer would be dipping in the free agency market to acquire a player.

The Islanders still haven’t re-signed Mathew Barzal and have little cap space to add a big contract to the roster, without clearing more space.

With that being said, Pierre LeBrun believes that the Islanders were in on Mike Hoffman (subscription required) who decided to sign with the St Louis Blues. If the Islanders are looking to add a free agent they could very well bring in the young Andreas Athanasiou for bottom dollar.

The 26-year-old former 20 goal scorer still has a ton to offer and could be had for much less than his $3 million cap hit from 2019-20.

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Anthony Beauvilliler will be sad to see his buddy Brassard leave. Brassard’s year with the Islanders could have gone better and hopefully, he can find more success with the Arizona Coyotes.

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