• By: Dave Gross

Senators Hit Mute Button on Trade Deadline Day

SENATORS: A Week in Review is a weekly column looking back at the week in Ottawa Senators hockey written by OLMSports Dave Gross.

Feature photo Courtesy NHLI via Getty Images (Andre Ringuette)

Ian freakin' Cole?

That's it?

That's all she wrote?

C'est tout?

This National Hockey League trade deadline was supposed to sizzle like a prime New York strip for the Ottawa Senators but, instead, came off the grill cold and lifeless.

Not what we expected, eh?

No Erik Karlsson on the move, or Bobby Ryan, or Zack Smith, or Mike Hoffman, or J-G Pageau or Craig Anderson.

Yup, the day's highlight was good old Ian Cole, a veteran defender who ends his era in Ottawa with precisely zero games played.

Fact is, Cole was an Ottawa Senator for about three days before being shipped to Columbus for a third-round pick (in 2020) and 22-year-old forward Nick Moutrey.

Cole was originally acquired from Pittsburgh in the Derek Brassard trade on Feb. 23rd.

He was expected to be flipped quickly after that trade, and he was.

But I guess that's lightning and fireworks compared to Ottawa's other 'deal' of the day – sending forward Nick Shore to Calgary for a seventh-rounder.

Shore did, actually, suit up for six forgettable games with Ottawa after coming from Los Angeles in the Dion Phaneuf swap.

So, to sum things up, this will best be remembered as the "Oh, what could have been" trade deadline day for the beleaguered Senators.
Let's face it, this is/was a franchise in desperate need of a reboot and a rainbow of hope.

The fact that team general manager Pierre Dorion did next to nothing at the deadline provided neither.

I am not entirely blaming Dorion for failing to manufacture a whopper that would have involved Karlsson. That's a tough deal to make given that the prime component would be a perennial Norris Trophy candidate and team captain who also carries the mantle as the city of Ottawa's favourite athlete, hands down.

"We did not actively shop Erik Karlsson. We did not," Dorion maintained to the media Monday afternoon.

But there were undoubtedly phone calls made, from both the Senators and interested parties. No bites though, from either side(s).

And Karlsson remains a Senator for the time being.

This is not a good thing for Ottawa. There's enough distraction right now surrounding the team's volatile owner. Throw an unhappy situation (which it reportedly is) into the mix involving the Senators' current leader and the blend is toxic.

Dorion did his best to deny the undeniable in his news conference following the 3 p.m. ET deadline.

"Erik and I have a great relationship. I'm told about a lot of stuff that is pure nonsense to the point of stupidity. What's unfortunate is that people put stock in those comments. There's no division."

Well maybe not with Dorion per se, but let's not leave Eugene Melnyk out of the equation. Ask any ex-Senators about the atmosphere in Ottawa (and they've been asked), and the answer is, 'not good.'

Problem is, the owner can't be traded or bought out.

So the only way to sell this to a frustrated and angry fan base is to wipe the slate clean with a swift housecleaning.

That starts with a cheerless circumstance concerning No. 65.

By not moving key parts, Dorion will have to sit in (and with) this slop until the season mercifully ends on April 7th.


Did Winnipeg just become a favourite in the West? That might be questionable considering the unproven-in-the-playoff netminding of No. 1 Connor Hellebuyck. There's no doubt though that the Jets now boast the best forward group with the acquisition of Paul Stastny . . . The New York Rangers might be "thrilled" with the get-back on their deal that moved stud blueliner Ryan McDonagh to Tampa – as TSN's Darren Dreger suggested – but no big-names came back in the swap, which leaves us wondering. Surely the Rangers wanted forward Brayden Point, but the Bolts were smart enough to not include the young sensation in the deal . . . Sarcasm: Just what the Predators needed – more grit. Hi there Brandon Bollig and Ryan Hartman.


* Pittsburgh Penguins acquire forwards Derick Brassard, Vincent Dunn, Tobias Lindberg, 2018 third-round pick (OTT); Ottawa Senators acquire defenceman Ian Cole, goalie Filip Gustavsson, 2018 first-round pick, and 2019 third-round pick (PIT); Vegas Golden Knights acquire forward Ryan Reaves and 2018 fourth-round pick (PIT from VAN)

* Columbus Blue Jackets acquire defenceman Ian Cole from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for forward Nick Moutrey and a third-round pick in the 2020 NHL draft

* Ottawa Senators place forwards Alexandre Burrows, Jim O'Brien and defenceman Johnny Oduya on waivers

* Philadephia Flyers claim defenceman Johnny Oduya off waivers from the Ottawa Senators


Tuesday, Feb. 27: Ottawa at Washington (7 pm)

Friday, March 2: Ottawa at Vegas (10 pm)

Saturday, March 3: Ottawa at Arizona (8 pm)