Derick Brassard is being reunited with Flyers coach Alain Vigneault.
The Flyers signed the veteran center/winger to a one-year, $825,000 deal Wednesday, giving them more depth up front and a potential special-teams contributor.
Brassard, who turns 34 next month, had some of his best years when he played for Vigneault with the New York Rangers. He had 18-, 19-, and 27-goal seasons with the Rangers from 2013-14 to 2015-16. The Rangers reached the Stanley Cup Final in Vigneault’s first season with the Blueshirts in 2013-14.
Last season, the 6-foot-1, 202-pound Brassard was an alternate captain for the Coyotes and he had eight goals and 20 points in 53 games with Arizona, his eighth team in a 14-year career. He has played in 117 career playoff games, and he has experience on the power play and penalty kill.
“Derrick will provide depth,” general manager Chuck Fletcher said. “He can play center or either wing, and he was above 50% on faceoffs.”
Fletcher said Brassard “gives AV a lot of positional and role versatility.”
With the Rangers, Brassard was teammates with current Flyers Kevin Hayes and Keith Yandle; in Columbus, he was teammates with Cam Atkinson, whom the Flyers acquired last month for Jake Voracek.
The Flyers have Sean Couturier and Hayes as their top two centers. After that, they have several others who could play in the middle, including Scott Laughton, who will probably be used at left wing, Brassard, Nate Thompson, Morgan Frost, and Tannner Laczynski. If needed, Claude Giroux can move back to center, but the Flyers clearly want him at left wing.
The Flyers will have about $320,000 in cap space if they carry 22 players — and that assumes right winger Wade Allison earns a spot on the team and Frost and Laczynski don’t.
It will all be figured out during training camp, which starts Sept. 22, as rookies Frost and Laczynski try to win spots from veterans Brassard and Thompson.