The Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Vegas Golden Knights completed a trade on Friday that is extremely complex and doesn’t really make any sense at all, unless you’re Pittsburgh.

Chris Johnston broke down the details of the trade, which was actually multiple trades, and all the effort that went into it, but in the end the most important thing is the Penguins got Derick Brassard for 60 per cent of his remaining salary, Vegas retained that 40 per cent and got very little to do so, and the Senators got a late first-round pick, downgraded their third-round pick, whatever they flip Ian Cole for before Monday, and goaltending prospect Filip Gustavsson.

Brassard, who is on pace for 54 points this season despite playing for the sixth-lowest scoring team in the NHL, has another year on his contract after this one, and will cost the Penguins just $3 million in cap space next season, which is incredible for a high-end second-line centre.

In the rankings project I published in September, Brassard finished as the 36th-best centre in the NHL, comparable to players like Eric Staal and the recently acquired Matt Duchene. To have a player of that calibre for $3 million per season is quite the obscene steal.

Brassard had a rough offensive season last year, scoring on just 7.2 per cent of his shots on goal, and a few people balked when Pierre Dorion said he was Ottawa’s best forward analytically, but there was a strong argument to be made that his statement was true, though I’d still go with Mark Stone.

Looking at Brassard’s underlying offensive numbers this season, the Penguins are likely very happy right now.