ShareThis Page
Penguins’ Derick Brassard out with upper-body injury, team says |

Penguins’ Derick Brassard out with upper-body injury, team says

Jonathan Bombulie
| Wednesday, January 30, 2019 8:50 p.m
Penguins center Derick Brassard, left, is checked by Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy during the third period Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, in Chicago. The Blackhawks won 6-3.

When Derick Brassard didn’t take the ice for pregame warm-ups before the Pittsburgh Penguins faced the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night, the team took the unusual step of announcing the reason for his absence – a day-to-day upper-body injury – via Twitter.

It’s not hard to understand why the extra step was taken. According to multiple reports, general manager Jim Rutherford is scouring the trade market for an upgrade on Brassard in the third-line center spot.

An unexplained scratch would have aroused suspicion – even more than the explained one did.

“He’s been dealing with just a nagging upper-body injury the last few days,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “The reason I didn’t divulge it this morning is because there was a chance he was going to play. If he did play, then we would rather keep that type of information to ourselves. But we chose to hold him out. He’s been dealing with this for a couple of days. Right now, his status is day to day.”

Regardless, Rutherford was at least somewhat complimentary of Brassard on his bi-weekly radio show Wednesday night on 105.9 FM.

“He hasn’t played as well as we expected and he’s capable, but at the same time, he doesn’t get much power-play time. He’s on the third line playing with different guys at different times,” Rutherford said. “He does have nine goals. He’s on pace for 15, 16 goals. That’s not all bad for a third-line center. Anytime he can score and get a little more confidence, you would think his game would get going a little bit more.”

Matt Cullen started the game in Brassard’s third-line spot between Tanner Pearson and Patric Hornqvist. Blueger centered Riley Sheahan and Garrett Wilson.

Defenseman Justin Schultz, meanwhile, who has been out since Oct. 13, took one of the most important steps on the road to recovery from a broken leg earlier Wednesday, joining his teammates for morning skate, albeit in a red, no-contact jersey.

“The next step, obviously, will be the contact part of the practices,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “We’re going to have some practices coming up over the next week and we’re hopeful that we can eventually get him to graduate into that step, and that’s the last step before he’s in the lineup.”

Follow the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan by email at or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Penguins
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.