Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ottawa Senator Trade Rumors

With the NHL season well under way now, some teams are surging while others are struggling. NHL trade rumors are beginning to heat up across the league and the Ottawa Senators are front and center in several. Are trades coming to the nation’s capital?

First, let’s take a look at what Ottawa may be shopping for. Defense is the deepest position. Ottawa has several NHL caliber players within the system. Unlikely to be moved are Erik Karlsson, David Rundblad, and Chris Phillips. Possibly available are Jared Cowen, and Patrick Wiercioch.  Readily available are Sergei Gonchar, Filip Kuba, Brian Lee, and Matt Carkner.

The only truly untouchable player on the entire roster I believe, is Captain Daniel Alfredsson. Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk and GM Bryan Murray have publicly stated they will not trade Alfredsson.  Ottawa is celebrating their twentieth anniversary this season and since their return to the NHL, the team has tried to develop a new generation of loyal fans. Having Alfredsson who is the most popular and beloved player in Sens modern era, retire as a Senator is crucial to that development.

Other players Ottawa could move if the timing and price is right:

Jason Spezza: Has a no trade clause he would need to waive
Milan Michalek: Finally living up to expectations. Sell high!
Craig Anderson: Goalie of the future Robin Lehner is almost ready.
Nick Foligno: Youth, potential affordable, he can bring a good return.
Nikita Filatov: If Filatov can show some effort and consistency.
Peter Regin: If Sens acquire another center Regin becomes surplus
Stephane Da Costa: See Regin.

Now let’s take a look at what Ottawa needs. While Ottawa has plenty of young forwards with potential coming up from a championship season in Binghamton, the team lacks legit top six forwards. The team’s rebuilding plan is a quick turn around, not a long term suffering to build through top end draft picks. Ottawa wants players entering their prime.

Kyle Turris rumors are running rampant over the NHL right now. Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Columbus are all also in the mix. Turris has demanded a trade and is currently with out a contract. TSN’s Bob Mackenzie addressed the Turris to Ottawa rumor recently on a broadcast and said this
"I can tell you, the Ottawa Senators are a team that has significant interest in Kyle Turris. Even though he was an 11-goal scorer, they feel that he has the potential to be a second-line centre who could score 20-plus goals, put some numbers up on the board, and fill what has long been a void on the Ottawa Senators. That he's a better player than he's shown in his limited time and exposure with the Phoenix Coyotes.
"But here's the "but," and it's a big one: The Ottawa Senators and every team that's interested in Kyle Turris, have been told, in no uncertain terms, by Phoenix general manager Don Maloney that they are not trading an unsigned hockey player. If he's prepared to sign a qualifying offer, or a one- or two-year deal, they will consider seriously his trade request. But they're not going to trade him as long as he's unsigned."
Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators have been rumored to be talking trade since the off season. Edmonton has a surplus of precisely what Ottawa needs which are young talented forwards. Potential players Edmonton may be willing to move are Sam Gagner, Linus Omark and Ales Hemsky. Any of these players would be ideal fits in Ottawa but Hemsky may be a rental as he is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Perhaps Gagner would be a better long term solution.

After several years of playoff disappointment, the Washington Capitals have made attempts to get over the hump. A fundamental shift from offense first to a more defensively responsible game last season, and depth players added this off season, are a testament to that. Both those decisions make players such as Alex Semin or Mike Green possibly expendable. A Semin-Spezza combination has lethal potential. Semin is also a potential UFA however.

Rumors surround the Columbus Blue jackets as they currently reside in last overall. Rookie Ryan Johansen has made the team and with the addition of Jeff Carter this off season, Derick Brassard may be the odd man out. Brassard still has upside, and at 24 he is still quite young.

The Dustin Penner experiment in Los Angeles has not been an overwhelming success and the power forward may be available. Ottawa GM Bryan Murray who signed Penner out of college in Anaheim, may be willing to re-acquire the big winger who is also heading into unrestricted free agency this summer.

Nashville has been the focus of rumors as well with there three top players all needing new contracts in Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, and Pekka Rinne. Common belief is that Nashville can not afford all three. Yesterday GM David Poile resigned Rinne to a seven year $49M contract. The signing has reignited rumors around Weber and Suter. Plenty of teams will make offers for them and Ottawa may look to offer top defense prospect Rundblad in a package for either Weber or Suter.

A rental player is not likely what Ottawa would be interested in as they are not a contending team. That’s not to say they won’t trade for a Penner or Semin or Hemsky because they can attempt to resign the player before July first.

Time will tell if Ottawa is able to pull off a deal for any of these stars. The competition will be tough but where there’s smoke there’s fire!
originally published at The Hockey Writers
Follow me on Twitter: @pharling

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