Senators: Trade Deadline Buyers

The Ottawa Senators should be buyers at the deadline, because they don’t have very much to sell. Also, with the negative reputation of ownership and the way in which they treated their past free agent signings, it is safe to assume that Ottawa is not going to be a popular destination for free agents in the summer of 2022. General manager Pierre Dorion’s only hope of building a winner is by doing it through the draft and by making trades. Obviously, the Senators are not making the playoffs this year, so any sort of rental player doesn’t make sense. Furthermore, any Senators player on an expiring deal that is not in the teams plans for next season should be moved at the NHL trade deadline.

Pierre Dorion Ottawa Senators
Pierre Dorion, Ottawa Senators, 2019 NHL Draft (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

But with murmurs of many quality players with term left on their contracts available, the Senators should be looking to make a splash. The focus of management needs to be putting a contending team on the ice for the 2022-23 season and the trade deadline is a great opportunity to retool their lineup. The Senators need to be improving in every facet of their lineup. Here are three players they should be looking at acquiring.

Travis Konecny

The Philadelphia Flyers are likely heading towards a full-blown teardown. A team that has looked solid on paper for a few seasons now is clearly not reaching expectations, and big changes are coming. In the midst of a second straight disastrous season, the Flyers are deadline day sellers, and the Senators should be looking to make a deal for 24-year-old winger Travis Konecny.

Related: A Konecny-for-Garland Trade Would Benefit Both Flyers & Canucks

A first round pick in 2015, in his 399 career games he has scored 102 goals and 148 assists for 250 points. He has scored over 20 goals on three different occasions, and certainly would be a welcome addition to any NHL lineup. He is also signed for a reasonable $5.5 million cap hit for the next three seasons.

Travis Konecny Philadelphia Flyers
Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

If the Flyers are indeed looking reconstruct, the Senators are stacked with a plethora of prospects that could start the rebuilding process in a big way. Konecny would slide into the top six nicely, and his game has an edge to it that will endear him to the nation’s capital. If Konecny is indeed available, he is the exact type of player the Senators should be looking at bringing in because of his low cap hit and consistency.

Jakob Chychrun

Every team in the NHL should be putting in their offers to snag this guy, and the Senators are no different. In fact, they should be the hungriest team of the bunch to trade for him. Jakob Chychrun has three seasons left after this one, at a very reasonable $4.6 million cap hit. They would be getting the prime years of a bonafide top four defenseman. Last season he led all NHL defenders with 18 goals in 50 games and would unquestionably improve any franchise that acquires him. If the Senators boasted Thomas Chabot, Jake Sanderson and Chyrchrun, they would be on track to be among the most solid defensive cores in the NHL.

Jakob Chychrun Arizona Coyotes
Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Arizona Coyotes are the rebuilding kings of the National Hockey League. One could claim that no team has ever iced a squad with less intention of winning games than the 2021-22 Coyotes. The Coyotes have made it clear that Chychrun is for sale and the Senators can put together a competitive package of prospects and draft picks that could lure him to Ottawa. Defense wins championships, and the Senators should be hard at work to get a deal done. Perhaps they would even consider taking Nikita Zaitsev’s contract in the deal. One can only dream.

Conor Garland

It’s hard to know what the Vancouver Canucks are thinking because they have been playing well since Bruce Boudreau arrived. One name that has been rumored to be on the trading block is Conor Garland, and if it’s true, the Senators should be interested in making a deal. The 25-year-old Garland has a $4.9 million cap hit for four more years after this season, which is a reasonable price for a top six winger.

Conor Garland Vancouver Canucks
Conor Garland, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Garland is a fan favorite that plays with some tenacity, and would be a welcome addition to the Senators’ top six. If the Canucks are looking to make some changes and get some cap flexibility, Garland is a guy the Senators should be calling on. If they are looking to add young players, top-end prospects, or draft picks then the Senators are the perfect trading partner.

Senators Need to Play for Pride

While the Senators season is as good as done, they need to let other teams know that they are not going to be push-overs next season. Bringing in high-quality players at the deadline would show that the organization is tired of losing and could reignite some passion to an otherwise depleted fanbase. The players on expiring contracts that the Senators don’t plan to re-sign in time for next season should be traded away for whatever they’re worth. But the priority should be bringing in players that factor into their plans next season and beyond.

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