We’ll have our draft roundtable up later today or tomorrow, with scintillating reactions to taking Cody Ceci at 15th overall, but until then…
I never took the rumors very seriously, given that most of them seemed to originate from Twitter and referenced “league sources.” (Which could mean literally anyone from an assistant GM to the guy who maintains the Minnesota Wild’s website.) But with stories like this one being written I’m starting to get seriously worried about Ottawa actually pulling off this trade.
What if Murray actually meets Scott Howson’s ridiculously high asking price? You might have a minor fan revolt on your hands. It will signify that we’re returning to the Spezza-with-Heatley era of top-heavy talent on the first line, and before we even get to enjoy the benefits of such a deep prospect pool. I would much rather this team throw everything they have at Ryan Suter, overspending on a blue chip defenseman, than give up assets for Nash. I don’t hate his contract as much as most, but I just can’t see it being worth the trading price, especially now that Howson’s already traded for a goaltender and our first round pick is used up.
Clearly Murray is in the last couple of years of his last contract as a GM, so the message is “screw slow-and-steady.” If he has one more year of Dany Alfredsson, he’s going to swing for the fences with Nash and then it’s someone else’s problem. The reality that the next Senators team to truly compete will probably be one with Silfverberg, Noesen, Stone, Zibanejad, Lehner, Puempel, Cowen and Karlsson all in their prime, not one where Rick Nash gets to play with Jason Spezza.
But what about the package mentioned here? Zibanejad, Foligno, Ben Bishop, and next year’s first round pick? That has me curious, and thinking it might be worth the risk. It certainly isn’t mortgaging the future. A very good prospect still years from being an impact player, if ever, when the team has oodles of forward depth right now; a good roster player who still finds himself on the third line more often than not; and a backup goaltender just acquired this year for a second round pick. That’s not much at all. The first round pick is a bit more worrisome, given that 1) we really have no idea where Ottawa will finish in the standings next year, and spending about $8MM on Nash doesn’t leave much money left over to sign some defencemen, and 2) Ottawa doesn’t have a second round pick next year either because of the Bishop trade.
But remember: screw it. This season just might be Murray’s Alamo. He’s going for it.
Also, it might be worth it because Leafs fans have been salivating over Nash for years. (Though I think most of them have to be over it now, what with their souls having been repeatedly crushed. Can they even feel feelings anymore?)
More interestingly, I think, is to parallel with Ryan Lambert’s weekly trolling where he quite rightly points out that all of these sign-and-trade maneuvers by large market clubs should put a seed of doubt in the minds of players. Why would you sign with Philadelphia or New York when you know that you can be traded after signing a 12 year deal, like Jeff Carter, or buried in the minors like Wade Redden? And why, if players know this, would Rick Nash only submit to be traded to the Rangers? At least you know that if you go to Ottawa they’re not going to loan you to a Swiss team just to get rid of the cap hit.
How hilarious is this team. One of the worst defensive teams in the league, and they trade a 22 year old defenseman who figures to break through and become a part of their top four for years to come for a forward. Perfect. No goaltending, no defense. The war against traditional rebuilding continues.
The Staal Trade
Really, really surprised Shero didn’t shop him around a little bit more. One week they offer him a 10 year deal paying him $6MM a year (which, by the way, they should be very glad he turned down), and the very next week Staal is gone. Not sure if they wanted to get it done so they could take the extra picks this year, but I imagine the return could have been higher if they’d waited until after July 1st, when Parise and Suter have signed, Nash and Ryan are traded, and the other 25 teams who banked absolutely everything on getting one of those four guys are left holding the bag. Unless of course they cleared cap space because the Pens intend to take a run at Parise, which…good grief. Do all of these GMs know that he can only sign with one team?
This didn’t get reported on much, but the Nashville Predators signed a new arena lease deal that should keep them in their city until 2028. Why am I linking to this on a Senators blog? As a fan who’s lived through bankruptcy, and who considers the Preds a bit of a model franchise, I have a lot of empathy with Nashville fans. They’re also set to lose Ryan Suter for nothing, which we lived through with Chara. But it’s nice to know that they can count on their team being around for years to come. Congrats, Predators fans.
“The reality that the next Senators team to truly compete will probably be one with Silfverberg, Noesen, Stone, Zibanejad, Lehner, Puempel, Cowen and Karlsson all in their prime, not one where Rick Nash gets to play with Jason Spezza.”
Can’t it be both? You rightly outline that the reported package for Nash wouldn’t exactly be mortgaging the future, even though it would be quite expensive. The Senators have a substantial collection of high-end talent right now; there’s no way all of them will be able to break onto the roster simultaneously. If some of them can be traded for a great player who’s a little older–like Nash, I suppose–it moves the Senators a little farther ahead, and allows for the team to compete now with the likes or Nash, Spezza, and Karlsson, but also leaves plenty of up-and-coming talent for the Senators to be competing ten years from now, assuming guys like Silfverberg, Noesen, Puempel, Stone, Zibanejad, Lehner, and Cowen all turn into the quality of players fans and management are hoping.
The problem with the Spezza-Heatley-era Senators is that there wasn’t enough of a commitment to scouting and prospect development, so there were no young players good enough to take the torch from those guys; instead, we had the likes of Greening, Condra, and Jim O’Brien waiting in the wings. It was bound to fail. As long as the Senators retain the majority of their draft picks in the future, especially the high-round ones, there should be enough depth the keep the team competitive for the foreseeable future. The rumoured price tag for Nash is affordable and sustainable; the question to me is less whether the Sens can afford it, but more whether or not Nash is worth it. That’s a valid question, I think.
Oh absolutely – it can be both. I mostly worry about Murray actually meeting Howson’s price, and leaning too heavily on the prospect pool to do it. I don’t know if Howson wants a goalie anymore considering the Bobrovsky deal, or if Nick Foligno is really going to be the centerpiece of a trade. I’d hate the see our one awesome draft year already cashed in.