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January 16, 2013 | 9:57am ET
Brassard safe in Columbus
TheFourthPeriod.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets will be counting on center Derick Brassard to help lead their offensive this season, effectively eliminating him from any trade talk this year.

Brassard, 25, was the subject of several trade rumors over the last two seasons, but after the team made a coaching change on Jan. 9, 2012, those talks soon ended.

The Blue Jackets seem confident in his abilities to be their first-line center, as he'll be playing in between R.J. Umberger and Cam Atkinson this season.

"He wants to be the go-to guy," Umberger told the Columbus Dispatch. "I think he's ready to accept that responsibility. You can see it in him. He finished strong last year. He's more influential in the locker room and he's walking around like he's been around the block a few times now."

While his point total dipped from 47 points in 2010-11 to 41 points last year, that was primarily due to a lack of playing time in the first portion the 2011-12 season.

Brassard spent the off-season working out in Ottawa and Montreal, and played six games for Salzburg EC in Austria during the lockout, where he collected five points.

Umberger feels confident in the club's top line, and is looking forward to kicking off the season playing together.

"I think we have a lot of chemistry," he said. "I am really excited about who I am playing with. My energy level is so high right now. I want to get going so bad."


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