SHERBROOKE – Goalie Francois Brassard has been guarding the Remparts’ crease for three seasons. He got to play for legendary goalie Patrick Roy along the way and was even drafted by his hometown Senators in 2012.
His fairy tale junior career was expected to end with him getting to play in the Memorial Cup next spring with his Quebec Remparts set to take part as tournament hosts.
But his road to the 2014 Memorial Cup got a whole lot tougher on Saturday when he was traded to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in exchange for a pair of draft picks.
“I totally wasn’t expecting this! I’d heard a few rumours lately, but I didn’t think anything would come out of them. It’s disappointing to leave Quebec City especially with the Memorial Cup heading there next year. I also had a really good relationship with everyone in the Remparts’ organization, but I guess what happened in the playoffs probably led to this move,” admitted Brassard who even watched his team’s final playoff game from the bench while rookie Callum Booth got the start.
Despite clearly being shaken up following the news, Brassard tried to stay positive.
“The Screaming Eagles have a good team. I think we will be competitive next year. I’m confident and hopeful that I can help lead this team to the Memorial Cup,” said Brassard.
Too many 20-year-olds
While Brassard is probably right about his team’s playoff struggles contributing to his trade, he may have also been the victim of his age. Before the deal, Brassard was one of five players over 20 on the Remparts’ roster – a list that also includes Fabrice Herzog, Marc-Olivier Roy, Kurt Etchagary and Adam Chapman.
“We really hesitated before making this move. It was important to us to get a goalie that could push and compete with Callum Booth. We intend to start the season this way and we will re-evaluate our options around the trade deadline,” reasoned GM Philippe Boucher.
The Remparts then acquired another Brassard, goalie Eric Brassard formerly of the Charlottetown Islanders.
Olympiques were also in the hunt
Talks between the Screaming Eagles and Remparts had gone on for over a month, but the Olympiques also were interested in the 20-year-old netminder.
“We had some discussions with them but the timing just wasn’t right. It’s nothing major since we’re very comfortable in net with Anthony Brodeur. We’ll see where things go from there,” said Olympiques GM Benoit Groulx.