So, Bryan Murray acquired behemoth goaltending prospect Ben Bishop from St. Louis for a 2013 second round pick. We don’t know much at this point, but we can probably read the following in the tea leaves:
1) That’s it for Alex Auld. Okay, maybe you didn’t need this move to know it, but I thought Auld didn’t get much of a fair shake this season. Ottawa preferred to play Anderson all the time: during both games in back-to-backs, after poor outings, against teams weak and strong. It’s tough to come into a game cold, and Auld never got on a roll. He has plenty of NHL experience. Given the chance, you’d think he might fill in suitably. Otherwise, why pay him a million bucks a year? Now, with Ben Bishop having arrived, and Robin Lehner going so far as to sabotage Craig Anderson’s frozen chicken so he can get his chance ; ), Auld is probably on his way to a ninth team in what will be 13 seasons. He’s still only 31; he’s cheap; he’ll find a home somewhere. Can Murray move him before tomorrow’s deadline? (Hint: no)
2) Ottawa don’t need no second round picks. This is just weird for a team that is supposedly rebuilding. Second round picks are the perfect trade resources – you’re not giving up a sure thing, but they have real value when you consider that the best way to build depth is with volume. I suppose Ottawa has only fastracked a prospect by taking a 25 year old, former 3rd rounder rather than wait the five years or so it takes a second round pick to pan out. But if you had told me that Bryan Murray would trade away both his 2012 and 2013 second rounders before the season was out-and both in deals for risky or unproven players, I would have said that that was unlikely, and taken your beer and poured it down the kitchen sink.
3) The team is not so sold on Robin Lehner. At least not yet. Sure, Bishop can play in Binghamton too, and they need the help, but considering he’s signing a one-way deal, we’re probably going to see an Anderson / Bishop tandem. Lehner is going to have to wait before he runs for mayor of Ottawa and crushes crime in his iron grip.
4) Tomorrow’s trade deadline will be boring for Ottawa fans. Given the complete lack of second rounders and management’s disinterest in trading prospects, Ottawa is pretty much set for the season. Maybe Murray trades a mid-round pick for some bottom-six depth. But it won’t be anywhere close to as interesting as when Alex Semin is traded to the Peoria Rivermen.