Who should Ottawa target at the deadline?

Ottawa is in a fairly unique situation among NHL teams, in that they’re (occasionally) competitive, with loads of cap room, and the prospects to upgrade. Really, the only other team in this situation is Colorado, maybe the Rangers. But I see on various blogs (and not just the Ottawa-centric ones) how Ottawa is a team that could make some noise if they went out and got that extra piece at the deadline. They’re having their occasionally dominates stretches of possession. Their goaltending, though still all over the place some nights, can lock it down and frustrate opponents, seemingly out of nowhere. It’s all hearsay and speculation, but when fans of other teams start really paying attention to Ottawa, I think it’s mildly indicative. It’s at least exciting.

Leaving aside where Ottawa would actually get the cash from, let’s look at some of the expiring contracts for 2014 and 2015, which could represent trade targets. I’ve only taken wingers because 1) that’s what Murray is rumoured to be looking for, and 2) when you take a look at the pending UFA defencemen, you’ll see it’s not even worth writing about. Unless you think Henrik Tallinder is an upgrade on Chris Phillips.

Oh, and I’ve only looked at teams who could be sellers. Sure, Thornton and Marleau are pending UFAs, but I don’t see San Jose packing it in this season.

Here’s what we’ve got.

Gaborik, Marian »

R

CLB

31

$7,500,000

Vanek, Thomas »

L

NYI

29

$7,142,857

Alfredsson, Daniel »

R

DET

41

$5,500,000

Hemsky, Ales »

R

EDM

30

$5,000,000

Whitney, Ray »

L

DAL

41

$4,500,000

Callahan, Ryan »

R

NYR

28

$4,275,000

Jagr, Jaromir »

R

NJD

41

$4,000,000

Moulson, Matt »

L

BUF

30

$3,133,333

Samuelsson, Mikael »

R

DET

37

$3,000,000

Vrbata, Radim »

R

PHX

32

$3,000,000

Jokinen, Jussi »

L

PIT

30

$3,000,000

Bouchard, Pierre-Marc »

R

NYI

29

$2,000,000

Havlat, Martin »

R

SJS

32

$5,000,000

Dubinsky, Brandon »

L

CLB

27

$4,200,000

Stafford, Drew »

R

BUF

28

$4,000,000

Some interesting options in there, but let’s start with what would easily be the most intriguing: Daniel Alfredsson.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say he’s got some comfort with the market. There’s probably not a lot to worry about when it comes to chemistry. Would it be awkward? For a minute or two, then we’d all dig our Alfredsson jerseys out from the bottom of the trunk where we buried them, and get ready to chant his name at 11:11. He thought Detroit would give him a better chance to win. Well, maybe they still do. But as of right now Detroit is not in a playoff spot.

Now, if Daniel Alfredsson is going to be traded at the deadline, it would likely be to an honest-to-goodness contender. San Jose or Los Angeles or something. (Imagine, for a moment, if Alfredsson was traded to the league-leading Ducks – the franchise that beat his Senators in the Final in 2007, and now including former Senator Jakob Silfverberg. Would you cheer for them in the playoffs? Talk about being conflicted.) But if it’s a comfort thing – somewhere where his family will be familiar and somewhere where he will be appreciated – well, I can think of no better destination.

I put both Callahan and Dubinsky on the list, even though New York and Columbus are both pretty close to a playoff spot and probably won’t be sellers, but those are the type of guys who you know managers salivate over adding to a playoff-bound team. They produce points, their possession stats are respectable, and they have all of those delicious intangible bullshitty things like handshakedness and stick-to-it-iveness that coaches and GMs love.

I don’t see Jagr being traded, and if he is I don’t see him being traded to Ottawa. But how amazing would it be if Jaromir Fucking Jagr played for Ottawa, even if only for a couple of months.

For basically any of these guys I think Ottawa would have to trade one of their better prospects – a Puempal, maybe even a Lazar (though we hear he’s untouchable). Mark Stone seems pretty entrenched where he is, but I imagine he’s got a few GMs’ attention at this point. And then there are several second tier prospects who are performing well in the AHL, but who may never be NHL players – your Shane Princes and Mike Hoffmans. All of them, along with a second round pick, would surely be up for grabs for the players on this list.

Sound off in the comments: should Ottawa be looking to buy? If so, who should they target?

6 thoughts on “Who should Ottawa target at the deadline?

  1. I never feel qualified to talk about trade targets since I rarely watch other teams & plus I can’t talk money, but as always it’s tonnes of fun to consider potential Really-Good-People-To-Play-For-the-Sens. I’m always surprised whenever the Sens do acquire anyone during the regular season, but if Alfredsson came back I think that would freak everyone out unnecessarily and unless we sit both Neil and Kassian to play Alfie, then I’m not sure his addition would really get us over the playoff threshold… even though it feels sacrilegious to say so. :S IDK.

  2. Go as is.
    This team isn’t a contender. They can barely string two games togather playing decent defence, and we’re going to give assets to make a run? Really? We’re a bubble team. So we meet Boston in round 1 and get annihilated or we meet Pittsburgh in round 1 and get annihilated. Even if we, by some miracle, pass one of those teams it’s round two and out.

    The time to trade for a run is when WE are a top 3 team in the Atlantic. With home ice and better matchups, then strengthen yourself.

    • I have to agree, this team isn’t likely to make it far in the playoffs this year. Best to wait until next year when the Sens may have a chance to go farther.

  3. While I’m inclined to agree that it’s not likely that the team makes the playoffs, it’s not like they’re totally in the dregs right now. They’re two points out of a wild card spot with, what, 33 games to go? The East is just terrible. If they can sneak in, and if they make it out of the first round (where, I agree, they’d have to play Boston or Pitts), then I don’t think there’s anyone in the East they can’t handle in a seven game series. If the difference between having a shot and not having a shot is a 2nd round pick or a prospect, then I’m not adverse to it. Especially if we end up losing some or all of Spezza, Ryan, Methot, Anderson, etc. and the team finds themselves building all over again.

    • I’m super happy with Sens trading for building blocks, but not for road flares. If the Sens sneak into the playoffs and beat one of the Pens or Bruins, they’ll have to play the Pens or Bruins in the second round too. If they get through that then plan the parade!

      The one nice thing about going in for this year, is that if the Sens are in this same position next year, with Spezza, Ryan and Anderson unsigned, what are the chances that they’re sellers at the deadline? More than 0% I bet.

      I do worry that Melnyk might try to sell the future in order to get playoff ticket sales this year…

  4. Pingback: Weekend Grab Bag: I want to spend Melnyk’s money edition |

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