SENATORS: A Week in Review – January 30-February 6, 2017
SENATORS: A Week in Review is a weekly column
looking back at the week in Ottawa Senators
hockey written by #OLMSports Dave Gross.
Images courtesy NHL.com
The loss of winger Clarke MacArthur for the duration of this season, and possibly permanently, leaves a hole in the lineup the club would like to fill.
But at what cost?
Plenty of theories and suggestions are going around.
The fact that Ottawa's prospect department is naked, except for blue-chippers Thomas Chabot and Colin White, makes a deadline deal for a top-notch forward improbable at best.
Trading either Chabot or White is unlikely and could be foolhardy. Both excelled at the world juniors this year and both possess NHL-calibre skills. What future the Senators have prospect-wise rests with these two. Shipping either out doesn't make any organizational sense. And if a team – say Colorado – is willing to deal a stud like Matt Duchene, you bet they'll be asking for Chabot or White.
So, if you're looking to swing a deal it will have to involve picks and someone from the current roster.
And here's another roadblock.
This summer's entry draft is regarded as weak. If Ottawa continues on its current run, even its first-rounder will be mid- to late-round. Not much of a selling point there. Ottawa might be shy about dealing anyway since the team gave away its second-round selection in the Dion Phaneuf deal.
Onto the roster then?
First and foremost you can forget dealing away a defenceman for that top-six winger. The Senators are thin on the blueline and trading a Cody Ceci or a Chris Wideman makes zero sense if your plan is to make noise in the post-season. A deep and talented defence is key to playoff success.
The rumblings lately have winger Curtis Lazar on the trading block.
Face it – as documented in this space last week – Lazar's been a bust as a former first-rounder . . . so far. And there's the rub: 'so far.'
Do you really want to give up on a soon-to-be 22-year-old? Lazar has shown the ability to skate well and play a gritty game. Perhaps he's simply a late-bloomer. His confidence right now is likely pretty low and a goal or two might get him rolling. If I'm running the show, I'm hanging onto Lazar for the time being.
Other commodities that have been discussed include Bobby Ryan and Zack Smith. Not much steam here – Ryan's contract makes him immovable, while Smith is the type of nails forward you absolutely need in the playoffs.
From where I sit, I don't see Ottawa doing much between now and March 1. Maybe a minor deal for some depth will be it.
NOTES AND NOTIONS: The Senators add of Tommy Wingels was a good one. The former Shark plays a Guy Boucher style game – strong defensively and attentive to detail . . . Maybe I was just relishing a good mood, but didn't this year's all-star game seem more entertaining than others? Lots of interaction (TV-wise) with the players brought out their more 'human-side.' Enjoyed the skills competition as well . . . Forty-nine games in and the Detroit Red Wings are languishing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. For the first time since seemingly the Gordie Howe era, the hockey club will miss the playoffs. As intriguing as the Ottawa situation is heading to the trade deadline, Detroit's is equal. There's potential for some major movement here . . . Wayne Simmonds of the Flyers gets named MVP at the all-star game. To me, he's the consummate hockey player – goals and grit in abundance . . . Remember that horrible start by Maple Leaf goalie Frederik Andersen? Not only has he turned his game around, he's getting plenty of nods for MVP in Toronto.
WEEK THAT WAS:
Tuesday: Ottawa 3, Washington 0
Thursday: Columbus 3, Ottawa 2 (OT)
Tuesday: Ottawa at Florida (7:30 pm)
Thursday: Ottawa at Tampa (7:30 pm)
Saturday: Ottawa at Buffalo (7 pm)