Welcome to Senators’ Weekly, where you can catch up on the past week of the Ottawa Senators throughout the 2018-19 season. From trending topics to surging prospects to news and notes, this is your weekly roundup on all things Sens.
It’s been an emotional week for Senators fans. From trades to seven periods without a goal, and from making history to the largest Citizenship Ceremony in Canadian sports history, there’s been a lot going on in Ottawa. The scores from the past seven days didn’t help, either. The Senators lost three of the four games they played this week, including back-to-back shutout losses. They fell to the Chicago Blackhawks in a high-scoring 8-7 final before they were shut out against the New Jersey Devils 4-0 and then the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0. To finish the week off, Brady Tkachuk faced off against his brother Matthew and the Calgary Flames, winning 2-1.
Here are the notable headlines and stories from the past week.
Numerous Senators Still Available
Stone Remains a Senators…For Now
With the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. today, the future of Mark Stone is still uncertain. Stone has been scratched for the past three games for precautionary reasons, just so he doesn’t get hurt before the team has the chance to trade him. The Senators have repeatedly said they want to keep the 26-year-old, but as it gets closer to the trade deadline and no deal is signed, it seems unlikely he’ll be a Senator come Tuesday.
He’s drawing a great deal of interest, as many as eight are still in the mix according to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that this includes the Winnipeg Jets, Nashville Predators, Flames and Boston Bruins, amongst others. McKenzie also says that there is still a chance the Senators can re-sign Stone, but it would mean team owner Eugene Melnyk increasing the offer, which is not likely to happen.
Stone has played in 366 games for the Senators, collecting 123 goals and 188 assists for 311 points. He’s also put up 60 or more points in four of his last five seasons, including 2018-19. He’s currently just two points away from his career high of 64 points in 2014-15 and has already set a new high for goals (28). If the team does move him, it’s reported that the price could be two first-round picks and two prospects or players. A potential sign-and-trade would impact the return, as well.
Ceci, Boedker Scratched Sunday
Defenseman Cody Ceci was also scratched for precautionary reasons during Sunday’s game versus the Flames. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that numerous teams are interested in the defender. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Edmonton Oilers were linked to Ceci earlier this season, and he has five goals and 20 points this season.
Also scratched for Sunday’s game was Mikkel Boedker who has popped up here and there in rumours for the past two months. Boedker was acquired in the Mike Hoffman trade this past offseason and has collected six goals and 29 points for the Senators this season in 54 games.
Duchene Traded to Blue Jackets
After much speculation, Matt Duchene was the first big player to be traded by the Senators ahead of the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline. The first-line centre was sent to the Blue Jackets, along with prospect Julius Bergman, for Vitaly Abramov, Jonathan Davidsson, a 2019 first-round pick and a conditional 2020 first-round pick.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) February 22, 2019
Senators general manager Pierre Dorion released a statement about the deal shortly after it was announced: “Our desire was to have Matt be part of this and as such, we approached him with a fair and comprehensive contract offer to remain a Senator for the long term. As soon as it was determined that he did not want to be part of our rebuild, we shifted our focus to see what assets we could acquire in exchange for Matt that would help grow our pipeline of potential.”
Bergman also didn’t want to be a part of the future, as news from the past week stated that Bergman was going to head overseas next season to play with his former team, Frolunda HC in Sweden. What’s interesting is that both players were actually acquired by the Senators in the last 15 months. Duchene in the blockbuster deal back in Nov. 2018, and Bergman in the Mike Hoffman trade with the San Jose Sharks. In this move, Dorion sent two players away who were likely leaving in the summer, for nothing, anyway.
The return sees the Senators pick up two prospects, in Abramov and Davidsson, both of whom have NHL potential. Abramov is the better pick up after his impressive QMJHL career in which he collected 223 points in 145 games. The Senators also get a much-needed draft pick in 2019 and potentially a second in 2020 if Duchene re-signs with the Blue Jackets.
The trade didn’t give Duchene a lot of time to move on from the Senators, as he had to play against them that night in Ottawa. He did get his video tribute and a standing ovation, even though the crowd was booing him when he first touched the puck. Duchene had 50 goals and 107 points for the Senators in 118 games. In his first game with the Blue Jackets, he had no points and three shots.
Dzingel Follows Duchene, Senators Get Duclair
After sending Duchene to the Blue Jackets, general manager Jarmo Kekäläinen wasn’t done with the Senators. He pulled off another move, getting another one of the big three: Ryan Dzingel. The Blue Jackets sent Anthony Duclair and two second-round picks (2020 and 2021) in exchange for the winger and a seventh-round pick in 2019. The 26-year-old has scored 22 goals, 22 assists and 44 points in 57 games this season.
Dzingel was in his fourth season with the Senators, collecting 62 goals and 64 assists for 126 points over 247 games. He was drafted in the seventh round, 204th overall, in 2011. In 2017-18, he set a career high in goals (23) and points (41), while tying his high in assists (18). This season has already seen him eclipse assists and points while being just one goal shy of tying his record. He continues to improve year-after-year, which the Blue Jackets are banking on if he re-signs.
For the Senators, Dorion and the organization believe they got a solid player in Duclair who can benefit the rebuild moving forward,
“In Anthony Duclair, we’ve acquired a talented young winger who has a history of scoring goals in the league. We plan to give him the opportunity to succeed here and expect that his speed and skill set will allow him to fit as part of our future.”
With the two draft selections, the Senators continue to stockpile picks for the next three drafts, which they will need to continue to do to benefit the rebuild. If the Senators trade Stone, Ceci and/or any others, expect more picks to be coming to Ottawa.
Anderson Plays 600th Game
In the midst of one of the most hectic times in Senators history, goaltender Craig Anderson provided cause for celebration. During Monday’s match against the Blackhawks, Anders Nilsson was pulled after allowing four goals on 12 shots in just over 13 minutes. Anderson entered the game, becoming the 50th goaltender in NHL history to play in 600 games. He has been a Senator for 387 of those games.
While many have been critical of his game as of late, there’s no question that Anderson is the best goaltender in Senators history. The 37-year-old is 188-143-43 with the club, giving him the franchise record in wins over Patrick Lalime. He’s also second for the Senators in franchise shutouts (27), just three behind Lalime. In 2017, he won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
In his career, Anderson is 275-226-26 and has 41 shutouts. He’s 43rd in all-time wins and 40th in all-time shutouts. He’s been the Senators goaltender for just over eight seasons and is under contract for one more. While the past two seasons have not been the best of his career, he will be remembered fondly when he moves on from the organization.
The Senators Week Ahead
There’s still time until the trade deadline and a great deal of the hockey world will have eyes on the status of Stone and the Senators. Other than the NHL Trade Deadline, the Senators also have games to play. In a busy week, they’ll face off against the Washington Capitals, the Oilers for the first time this season, the Lightning and the Florida Panthers.
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.