With Senators GM Pierre Dorion being given the green light to add to his roster, and with injury woes biting hard as of late, it seems clear that the Senators are poised to make a deadline deal should the cards present themselves. So that begs the question, who? And for what?
It is without a doubt, that the position vacancies to be dealt with on the right wing come as priority #1 for Pierre Dorion. After a slew of recent injuries, both short-term and long-term, the Senators find themselves with only two natural, full-time right wingers, on their roster; Curtis Lazar, and Chris Niel. These two wingers due to their age on both ends of the age spectrum are meant to be only 3rd/4th line wingers. This puts the Senators in the current position of having to either force players to play out of their natural position on the wing, or fill the spots with players from Binghamton. Clearly, not a roster move helpful for pushing into the playoffs.
Even with the eventual return of Stone and Ryan on the wing, the Sens lack depth at forward and will be looking for a solid pickup to help propel them to the top of the Atlantic. So which options seem most viable?
Radim Vrbata, RW: At age 35 with a small salary of just $1 million for this year, this may just be the rental Dorion is looking for. Vrbata has already hit 40+ points this year and could be a solid 2nd or 3rd line right winger for the Senators.
Gabriel Landeskog, LW: Landing Landeskog would be a large long-term investment, with which will most likely be a decent chunk of Ottawa future going the other way. The Avalanche captain carries a $5.57 million/year contract that would keep him into the 2020-2021 season. Landeskog would bring the size and strength needed to a smaller Ottawa offence needed for a playoff push. He currently has 11 goals and 12 assists in 48 games this year.
Thomas Vanek, RW: Vanek has been a great year on a struggling Red Wings team. On pace for 50+ points, the 33-year-old Austrian has a $2.6 million contract for this year, and would certainly enjoy a change of pace onto a playoff contending team. Similar to Vrbata, Vanek would be a great 2nd or 3rd line winger to further Ottawa’s depth on the right wing.
Mathieu Perreault, C/LW: Hitting $3 million on the last year of his contract, Perreault has only put up 6 goals, and 23 points on the year. Seemingly poised to go to free agency, Perreault would be a great depth pickup for a fairly cheap price. If we don’t see Dorion going for a big trade, Perreault might be the guy.
Matt Duchene, C: Although I believe very unlikely to be traded to Ottawa, Matt Duchene simply must be on this list due to his talent and the buzz surrounding him and Ottawa as of late. Similar to fellow teammate Landeskog, a trade for Duchene would be a long term investment, and would keep him under salary until the end of the 2018-19 season at $6 million/year. With 36 points on the season, Duchene would slide into the #1 center roll, and push Turris and Brassard down to 2nd and 3rd centermen.
Patrick Eaves, RW: Another much needed right winger, hitting 21 goals already at a $1 million cap hit? It goes without saying, that Patrick Eaves would be a great fit in Ottawa, but would come at a fairly steep price, and would require a larger salary if Ottawa were to keep him past this year. The 31-year-old carries experience, as well as the capabilities to be more than a rental into the organisation’s future.
On the home front, GM Pierre Dorion has made it clear that the future of the organisation, Thomas Chabot and Colin White aren’t likely to be shipped unless the perfect deal arises. As for Curtis Lazar, Dorion has said he “will not just give Lazar away” and is expecting any offers to consider Lazar’s future worth. Also without any 2nd round picks for the next two years, it appears Dorion will have to budge if he wishes to might a large trade work.
With a lot of fitting options out there, and a clear goal to push for them, the chances for an eventful trade come deadline day in Ottawa looks pretty promising for this year. It will most definitely be an exciting week, with other Candian teams trying to pick up new pieces in the push for the playoffs as well.
So who do you believe is the right fit in Ottawa, and what pieces do you expect to be moved to fulfill those wishes?