Sens GM insists money had nothing to do with Zibanejad-for-Brassard trade


The Ottawa Senators traded Mika Zibanejad for Derick Brassard because they want to win now and they felt Brassard was “a better hockey player at this point in time.”

According to GM Pierre Dorion, the deal had nothing to do with Brassard being owed just $10 million in actual salary over the next three years, after the Rangers had paid the 28-year-old his $2 million bonus for the upcoming season.

“The money didn’t have a thing to do with it,” Dorion told TSN 1200, per Ian Mendes. “I’m happy we saved $2 million because it allows us to do more. But it was more of a hockey deal than anything.”

The Senators’ internal budget is always a hot topic in Ottawa, where owner Eugene Melnyk has claimed massive losses but continues to stress he has “no intention of selling the team at any price.”

So it was no surprise that Dorion was asked if there was a financial motivation behind the trade. Zibanejad can become a restricted free agent next summer. His salary in 2016-17 is $3.25 million, which is actually slightly less than the $3 million the Sens will have to pay Brassard.

At the very least, the trade puts a good amount of pressure on the Sens to bounce back from last season’s 11th-place finish in the East. Brassard will turn 29 in September. The expectations for him are high, and they are immediate.

“Our ultimate goal is to make the playoffs again,” said Dorion, “and we feel Derick’s going to help us make the playoffs.”