"I consider myself an offensive player and when you do not touch the ice, few people understand that you can not be yourself. It was still difficult psychologically. "
While listening to Derick Brassard talk about the last season, Gatineau seems to be lost. We can understand it, since he played for three different teams, including one that included in his ranks Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin.
"I had a very good relationship with the coach in Pittsburgh, but it could take a long time before I had the ice cream," he told TVA Sports on Friday after a training session. at the Westmount Recreation Center.
Then in February, the 31-year-old striker went from the Penguins to the Florida Panthers, who in turn traded him to the Colorado Avalanche after just 10 games – scoring four points. Its overall average usage was 15 minutes per game in 2018-2019.
In Denver, Brassard's stay was not successful. There was no "Big Game Brass" last spring. But in his defense, he never really adapted to the roles that were assigned to him throughout the season. He has accumulated 14 goals and 23 points in 70 games, his worst NHL performance, excluding his rookie year.
"In previous years, I had been successful in the playoffs. I had a bad year and people only think about it. This is normal, "he said sincerely.
"It's up to me to bounce back and have a better season."
An offensive role with the "Isles"
Brassard's statistics speak for themselves, certainly. Except that they are not indicative of the potential of Quebecers, but of the context. New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello does not seem to be a skeptic, as he has decided to give him a $ 1.2 million low-risk season deal.
"I think the Islanders give me the opportunity to be myself. They offer me an offensive role, "he said.
That's exactly what Brassard, a 27-goal scorer with the New York Rangers in 2015-16, who scored 60 points the previous season, was looking for. And by his own admission, he "did not have ten options" in front of him for the next campaign.
"Among the options I had, that was the best. They will give me a chance to showcase myself and that's all I ask for. "
The reputation of Lamoriello
The Columbus Blue Jackets first-round pick in 2006 also met with Lamoriello and head coach Barry Trotz on the ground in New York to find out what the "Isles" mean to him.
If he wanted the right time, he could not fall on a DG more direct, as his reputation.
"From what I hear from Lou, what is white is white. What is black is black. There are no (false promises). That's what I like."
"I really enjoyed my visit there."
Brassard says he took advantage of the summer to put himself in an optimal shape. Confident in his means at the dawn of the new season, he hopes to be given a lot of ice time.