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Trading places: NHL deadline deals’ effect on playoff teams

Excuse Derick Brassard for having a little difficulty finding his bearings after the veteran center took an unorthodox cross-country route in reaching the NHL playoffs. Starting the season with Pittsburgh, Brassard was traded to Florida and spent 10 games with the Panthers before landing in Colorado in time to help the Avalanche’s late-season surge to clinch the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff berth. Brassard is also re-adjusting to center after playing on the wing in Florida. ”It’s been kind of a weird season for me personally. By coming here, I had to try to adjust quickly,” Brassard said Monday as Colorado prepares for a first-round matchup against Calgary. ”I feel like I’m fitting in really well. I wish ...