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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Trade Deadline Preview: Ottawa Senators

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Trade Deadline Preview: Ottawa Senators
By Brian Peirce

This is a really interesting situation brewing in Ottawa. This is a team that should have walked into the playoffs if it wasn’t for two key injuries. The first was taking a Norris Trophy guy out of the line up in a totally despicable move that by the worst player in the league. I am still angry about the lack of response by the NHL in Karlsson getting his heel stomped on. The highest scoring defenseman was a big loss, which got worse when they lost the best goaltender in the league at the time in terms of saves in Craig Anderson to a lingering ankle injury.

Both turned out to be galvanizing to the team. Players stepped up everywhere, and all of a sudden they have three good goaltenders and at least one more offensive defenseman step up, and an overall team effort to team defense. They are sitting in a good spot to make the playoffs, but they also have some tough calls to make. They have UFA guys to be in Gonchar, Latendresse, and their franchise player Alfredsson. When you also figure that they have three guys that are proven to be NHL caliber goaltenders, you have to figure they have assets to trade. But are they buyers or sellers?

They could go at the Cup but when you are down your best young player, do you think you can win it all? Do you want to tell your team that, as the GM, you don’t think they can win it all? These are tough decisions. If I was in charge I would let Alfredsson determine his own future, and be a seller with Gonchar at least. I also would look to move Bishop to anyone who is interested enough to make a good deal.

They have 26 million to spend on 7 players next season. You might as well move guys that you might not have next season and use the money on new players and see if the youngsters who carried this team can carry the load in the playoffs. Next year you will get back a Norris Trophy defenseman, could add the best free agent defenseman or forward in free agency while getting prospects? I mean, I would rather add Danny over Iginla just because I think he is more of a leader. It sounds as if they are looking to stand pat or add some small pieces, but this is a team that could have won the cup if they didn’t get some jack-ass assaulting their best player. I suggest they sell high on some of their spare pieces and rebuild. Alfredsson could even come back next season to a team that has a stronger identity.

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