Basically, it's still all about one player.
He is in the midst of his 11th National Hockey League season and has four campaigns with 18 or more goals and five of 40 or more points. Brassard will likely slot in as the Penguins third line center behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and give them another scoring option.
The 30-year-old Brassard has registered 18 goals and 20 assists for 38 points in 58 games this season, and he is just one point away from matching his total from all of 2016-17. Gustavsson was Sweden's starting goaltender in the 2018 World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y., and was named the tournament's top goaltender after posting a 1.81 goals-against-average and.924 save percentage in six games.
Predictably, the price to land Brassard, the most coveted center on the market, was heavy.
The Pittsburgh Penguins appear to be loading up for a shot at a third consecutive Stanley Cup. Cole, an unrestricted free agent at season's end, had been the subject of trade rumors for months.
Ottawa clearly is building toward the future, and in getting the pick plus Gustavsson - a Swedish 19-year-old netminder who has yet to even play in North America - certainly will get things trending in that direction.
In 47 games this season, Cole had three goals and 10 assists.
With several teams - including the Pittsburgh Penguins, Winnipeg Jets, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets- looking for help in the middle at this deadline, sources say Brassard is a hot commodity and it's only a matter of time before a deal is put in place.