Playing their best hockey of the season, the Ottawa Senators kept quiet during Monday’s NHL Trade Deadline. After a few minor deals fell through, GM Bryan Murray decided there was no reason to shuffle the lineup as he stood still. The only deals that were being looked at were to move a couple of players with term in return for draft picks, but nothing developed. With the majority of the team under contract next season and some other key pieces still pending RFA’s, Ottawa is in good shape.
Pending Free Agents
The Senators will have a busy off-season as Mika Zibanejad, Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Andrew Hammond are all pending RFA’s, while their only UFA is Eric Condra. Obviously Zibanejad, Stone, and Hoffman are the main targets as Ottawa will do everything in their power to lock them up long-term. Andrew Hammond’s strong play between the pipes may earn him a raise while Pageau fits in with the current team mold and is worthy of a contract moving forward. Eric Condra is now 28 and hasn’t become more than a third line player, it would not be shocking if Ottawa looked for an external candidate as a replacement or even looked within the organization and allowed Condra to walk.
Potential Summer Trade Chips
There are a few players within the Senators organization who will possibly be moved during the off-season. David Legwand, who is under contract for the 2015-16 season, has a cap hit of $3M and has not done enough to put him ahead of the younger competition. Another potential player who may be on the outs is 28-year-old winger Colin Greening who has spent the majority of this season in the AHL and carries a cap hit of 2.3M through the 2016-17 season. With the younger players exceeding expectations and injured forwards Chris Neil and Zack Smith expected to be healthy and contribute fully next season, there are options. Chris Phillips is also a name that always gets mentioned in potential trades in Ottawa, but he will more than likely fill a role, whether it be full-time or spot duty depends on his training camp.
2015-16 Potential 23-Man Opening Night Roster
Looking Further Ahead
Taking a quick look further down the road, here is a kid to get excited about in the Nations Capital. His name is Nicholas Paul, the big skilled winger from the OHL’s North Bay Battalion has really opened some eyes this season. Acquired in the trade that sent Jason Spezza to Dallas, the 19-year-old Mississauga ON native has the size (6-3, 200 lbs) and skill to make his mark at the pro level. All that is needed at this moment is a little time to properly develop. He will more than likely suit up for Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton next season. Here are some highlights from his play at the 2015 World Juniors where he helped Team Canada to a Gold Medal.
The Ottawa ON native covers the Ottawa Senators and is a graduate of the two-year Sports Administration program from Durham College. He has acted as Director of Hockey Operations for the Arnprior Packers of the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League.
He is currently the Head Athletic Trainer for the Battlefords North Stars of the Canadian Junior Hockey League but states hockey writing as his biggest hobby.