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Pensburgh weighs in on Panthers’ new acquisitions

Hooks Orpik gives LBC a quick scouting report

Pittsburgh Penguins v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Pensburgh’s Jim Rixner aka Hooks Orpik reached out to me regarding Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann and was nice enough to send back information on the two newest Florida Panthers, Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan.

Not sure how long the duo will be Cats, but let’s get a bird’s eye on how they have been so far this season

Derick Brassard was curious case, and one that I don’t have answers for, because for some reason he just never played well in Pittsburgh despite several solid seasons in New York and even Ottawa.

I mean look at that, in a contract year he just stunk this year. Not really sure how to explain it. Maybe moving on will be best for Brassard, he’s in his 30’s now but I see no reason skills-wise that he shouldn’t be a second line center type scoring 45-50ish points in a season. He’s got good vision, skating, it just didn’t work in Pittsburgh. I’m sure he couldn’t have been happy his minutes were down, he was a on the third line but he’s a good player that just didn’t play like one with the Penguins. Not sure if Florida’s move is to ship him off to a Cup contender this year and get more picks or try to build with him for the future but it will be interesting to see if he can re-find his form as quickly as he forgot it in the last year.

Riley Sheahan is a pretty vanilla player. He’s got good size but doesn’t really play physical. He has decent enough hands but can totally go 10+ games without scoring or coming close to. Sheahan is pretty good on the penalty kill, he’s smart to get in lanes, use his reach, plays positionally well. He’s pretty good to be above 50% on faceoffs, but is not dominant in that regard either. His skating isn’t poor but he’ll never be considered a burner. He’s a decent enough all-around player but not really a huge hustle or effort guy. Just sort of a guy on a team. The Pens signed him this summer hoping he would have a good season like he did last year (scoring 32 points in 73 games with Pittsburgh and looking decent on even a third line at times) but it just never really came together and he has been bouncing from 4th line center to typically a 4th line winger this season. He’s a free agent this summer and really probably shouldn’t be making the $2.1 million that his salary is now. He’s OK for a defensive minded PK 4th liner, but guys like that usually are available for cheap.