Ottawa Senators: Defenseman Marc Methot’s Return Could Trigger Trade

Ottawa Senators: Defenseman Marc Methot‘s Return Could Trigger Trade

Senators defenseman Marc Methot is close to a return to the Ottawa lineup. As per the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reporting from a Sens practice:

For Sens fans, Methot’s return to the defense pairs is a welcome addition. Methot’s toughness and defensive leadership have been sorely missed.

Ottawa Senators Marc  Methot trade rumours
(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Sadly for at least one Ottawa Senators skater, Methot’s return will force the Sens to make their first change of the season to the 23-man active roster.

As Ken Warren writes:

Something, however, has to give. The Senators have spent the entire season without making a single change to their 23-player active roster, a rarity in injury-ravaged NHL… It’s possible Methot could be assigned to Binghamton for a conditioning game or two, but when he’s deemed ready to return to the NHL action, somebody else has to go – either assigned to Binghamton of the American Hockey League or shipped off through a trade.

Ken Warren, Ottawa Citizen

But which Sens player is most likely to go?

Ottawa Senators Players Most Likely to be Moved

Reports (here and here) suggest that forwards Erik Condra, Colin Greening, and Patrick Wiercioch are the most likely candidates to lose their roster spot upon Methot’s return. Each of the three must pass through waivers if sent to the AHL, which will likely encourage Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray to explore trade possibilities.

If Murray does pursue a deal, general managers with a keen eye for analytics will pounce.

Through the trio of skaters has struggled to find consistent playing time this season, each has been a positive possession presence when they have joined the Sens lineup. Greening, Wiercioch, and Condra rank second, fourth, and sixth respectively in Corsi For percentage (CF%) for the Senators. Better still, Greening and Wiercioch have each registered a CF% above 50 percent. These strong possession numbers on a team that has struggled to possess the puck (Ottawa ranks 26th in the NHL for CF%) show three players who could be positive contributors for a Stanley Cup-contending club.

But what can Senators fans expect their team to get in return?

 

Chris Stewart Ottawa-Bound?

With Methot’s pending return, Bryan Murray is not dealing from a strong position. In order to create roster space for Marc Methot while recouping an asset for Greening, Wiercioch, or Condra, the Senators could be forced to take on a disappointing player with an expensive contract (the Senators boast the most cap space in the NHL).

That’s where Buffalo’s Chris Stewart comes in.

Through 21 games played this season, Stewart has struggled mightily. The power forward has posted only two points while sliding to an awful minus-12 rating.

Ouch.

Stewart’s disappointing performance, along with his $4.15 million/year contract, has led to speculation that the Sabres would like to deal the 27 year-old. For the Ottawa Senators, packaging the Greening-Condra-Wiercioch trio in return for Stewart would create the roster space needed for Methot’s return while securing the services of a skilled power forward who has potted 15 or more goals seven times in his nine-year career.

Ottawa Senators interested in Chris  Stewart?
Chris Stewart has seen his name surface in trade rumors (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

Though this convenient solution for the Sabres and Sens may never come to pass, the Senators must make a roster move soon in order to welcome Marc Methot back to the lineup. Hopefully for Ottawa Senators fans, this move will include acquiring some talent to bolster the team.

What do you think, Senators fans? What is the best way for GM Bryan Murray to make the roster space needed to allow Marc Methot to re-join the Sens roster?