The trade deadline is getting closer and closer, and the Ottawa Senators still have a number of questions surrounding the team. They are last in the NHL and have numerous pending free agents, including top players Matt Duchene and Mark Stone. While we don’t know what will happen in the weeks that lead up to the deadline, Senators general manager Pierre Dorion has a history of making deadline moves in his three years running the club.
Related: 3 Best Trades in Senators History
Here’s a look back at his history of transactions just ahead of the trade cutoff. For the sake of calling it a trade deadline transaction, this list looks at moves made within one month of the deadline.
Dorion’s 2016-17 Trade Deadline Deals
Trade Deadline: March 1, 2017
In the 2016-17 season, the Senators were gearing up for a deep playoff run. The veteran leadership brought in by Alexandre Burrows and Viktor Stalberg may have helped that run, even if it did come up short. Dorion was also able to get what may end up being a part of the new core of the team in Alex Formenton.
Burrows Comes to Town
To OTT: Alexandre Burrows
To VAN: Jonathan Dahlén
In a season where the Senators were playing well, Burrows waived his no-trade clause with the Vancouver Canucks to go to the nation’s capital. At the time, Clarke MacArthur had been sidelined for the season with a concussion and the team needed a winger. Burrows had playoff experience, and was a well-known asset that could help the team in a Stanley Cup run.
After the trade, Burrows signed a two-year, $5 million contract, although he retired after the first season. The Senators fell one goal short of the Stanley Cup Final in that first season and then finished 28th in the league, so the retirement may have come one season early since the veteran thought the team wasn’t going to be able to be a contender.
Dahlén, the 42nd-overall pick in 2016, is known as a goal scorer, and had been playing in Sweden and for Team Sweden in every tournament he could compete in. He has yet to make the jump to the NHL, but is currently playing in the AHL for the Utica Comets. Seeing where the team went after the trade and where it is now, this trade may be one they would like to take back.
The End of Lazar
To OTT: Jyrki Jokipakka, 2017 second-round pick (#47 Alex Formenton)
To CGY: Curtis Lazar, Michael Kostka
After being drafted 17th overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Lazar never really lived up to the expectations that he had coming in. He was a big producer in the WHL with the Edmonton Oil Kings, and even did well in the 2014 and 2015 World Junior Championship with Team Canada. But once he got to the NHL, the points didn’t come as easy.
The final straw for Lazar was in 2016-17 when after 33 games, he had one assist to his name. He was sent to the Calgary Flames, along with Michael Kostka, a depth defenseman, although he played just 15 games for the AHL’s Stockton Heat before heading to Sweden as a free agent.
It looks as though the Senators may have already won this trade, as Formenton looks to be a NHL stud in the near future. Jokipakka played in just three games for the Senators, and is now playing in the KHL.
Stalberg Comes to Ottawa
To OTT: Viktor Stalberg
To CAR: 2017 third-round pick (#90 Evan Barratt)
Getting Stalberg from the Carolina Hurricanes was the Senators adding a veteran presence to their lineup. The team was also looking for a solid penalty killer, which Stalberg brought to the table. Stalberg finished the season with the Senators by helping them to the conference finals before heading overseas. He’s currently playing in the KHL.
The Hurricanes will come out on top of this trade as Barrett has been solid at the Pennsylvania State University. In his second season there, he’s over a point-per-game with 35 points in 23 games. He also played on Team USA in the 2019 World Junior Championship, winning a silver medal.
Gormley to Devils
To OTT: Brandon Gormley
To NJ: Future Considerations
This trade with the New Jersey Devils was actually made just after the trade deadline, making Gormley ineligible to play in the NHL playoffs that season. The former 13th-overall pick finished the season and then headed overseas and is currently playing in Sweden. The future considerations have yet to be met.
Hagel Sent to Wild
To OTT: Marc Hagel
To MIN: Future Considerations
Similar to the Gormley trade, Hagel was brought in from the Minnesota Wild and went straight to the AHL, finishing the season in Binghamton before taking a season off. He’s currently playing in Denmark. The future considerations have yet to be met.
Dorion’s 2017-18 Trade Deadline Deals
Trade Deadline: Feb. 26, 2018
While the 2016-17 season saw the Senators finish better than expected, the 2017-18 season didn’t go as smoothly for the team. They missed the playoffs and finished 28th in the league. With the club doing worse this season, Dorion’s trades got even bigger. Sending out Dion Phaneuf and Derick Brassand may have been the true start of the rebuild, although taking on the aging Marian Gaborik didn’t help the cause. Filip Gustavsson on the other hand should help in the long run, and the pick that drafted K’Andre Miller was flipped for two players who look to be solid NHLers in the future.
Phaneuf-Gaborik Deal with the Kings
To OTT: Marian Gaborik, Nick Shore
To LA: Dion Phaneuf, Nate Thompson
In what was frankly a rather strange deal, the Senators sent veteran Phaneuf to the Los Angeles Kings for another veteran in Gaborik. Phanuef had been with the club for two years and four days, helping the team to the Eastern Conference Final. The trade might have cleared up quite a bit of cap room for the Senators as Phaneuf carried a $7 million contract compared to Gaborik’s $4.9, but the Senators also retained 25 per cent of the defender’s contract. Thompson for Shore did help them save some though as Thompson made $1.7 million to Shore’s $975,000.
The trade hasn’t aged well for either team. Both teams are currently near the bottom of the standings this season. Both Thompson and Phaneuf are still playing for the Kings, but Thompson has five points in 51 games and Phaneuf has just three points in 46 games this season. For the Senators, Shore was flipped in less than two weeks and Gaborik has been on the injured reserve list for the better part of his time in Ottawa. He played 16 games for the Senators last season, getting just 7 points, and has not been healthy enough for one game in 2018-19.
The Three-Way Brassard Trade with the Penguins, Golden Knights
To OTT: Ian Cole, Filip Gustavsson, 2018 first-round pick (PIT, #22 K’Andre Miller), 2019 third-round pick (PIT)
To PIT: Derick Brassard, Tobias Lindberg, Vincent Dunn, 2018 third-round pick (OTT, #64 Justus Annunen)
To VGK: Ryan Reaves, 2018 fourth-round pick (VAN via PIT, #99 Slava Demin)
In the biggest trade on this list, the Senators may have ended up with the best total returns. They sent Brassard, Lindberg and a 2018 third-round pick (Annunen) to the Pittsburgh Penguins, getting the Vegas Golden Knights to retain 40 per cent of Brassard’s salary. Gustavsson is currently the Belleville Senators’ starting goaltender. Despite being the lone player remaining from the trade, Dorion was able to flip the others for more assets.
Dorion flipping Cole happened before the 2017-18 trade deadline and is on this list. As for the pick that led to Miller, the Senators flipped that for two more picks from the New York Rangers ahead of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Those picks were used to draft Jacob Bernard-Docker and Jonathan Tychonick, currently high-end prospects for the team.
Brassard, the biggest piece of this trade, played in 54 games with Pittsburgh before recently being flipped to the Florida Panthers. Lindberg only lasted 15 games with the Penguins organization and is currently back with the Senators after an AHL trade earlier this season.
DiDominico for Blackhawks Pokka
To OTT: Ville Pokka
To CHI: Chris DiDominico
This minor-league swap didn’t really work out for the Senators or the Chicago Blackhawks. DiDominico was a borderline NHLer with the Senators, but only played in the AHL after the trade. Pokka never cracked the NHL and now both players are playing overseas.
Shore flipped to Flames
To OTT: 2019 seventh-round pick
To CGY: Nick Shore
After being acquired from the Flames, Shore lasted 13 days with the Senators, playing in six games with one assist. After that season, Shore went to play in the KHL. But his 13 days were longer than the next player on this list.
Cole flipped to Blue Jackets
To OTT: Nick Moutrey, 2020 third-round pick
To CBJ: Ian Cole
Cole was a member of the Senators for three days after coming from the Columbus Blue Jackets, not even dressing for a game. Moutrey is currently playing for the Rockford IceHogs, just finishing the one season with the Belleville Senators.
What to Expect From Dorion for 2018-19 Trade Deadline
It’s safe to say that Dorion is not afraid to make big moves at the deadline, especially looking at last season. With the Senators’ season lost and numerous pending free agents and aging players, expect Dorion to add to this list this season. Duchene, Stone, Ryan Dzingel and Cody Ceci are just some of the names that could be moved ahead of the Feb. 25 Trade Deadline.
Related: Senators 2019 Trade Deadline Preview
Trade details from CapFriendly.com.
Statistics from HockeyDB.com.
Starting out as an Ottawa Senators contributor for The Hockey Writers, Josh is now an editor and at-large contributor, focusing on prospects, the NHL Draft, hockey history, and breaking news stories.