Wacky day ends with Ottawa’s offence jacked up
Let me get this straight, did Matt Murray just do what he seemingly hasn’t been able to do since he landed in Ottawa?
That’d be, making a key save?
It certainly looked that way following a somewhat crazy morning then afternoon leading up to Thursday night’s NHL entry draft.
To revisit – earlier in the day it appeared Ottawa and Buffalo had hooked up on a deal that made the Senators look absolutely desperate. Ottawa was going to send its multi-million-dollar netminder to the Sabres in a salary dump that would have cost the Senators the 7th-overall selection in the draft. (Ottawa was to get Buffalo’s first-rounder, the 16th overall). Rumblings had the Sens paying a portion of Murray’ salary in the deal, aaaaaaand taking on one of Buffalo’s expensive talents (rumoured to be forward Kyle Okposo), aaaaaaand potentially including a quality prospect going from Ottawa.
But thanks to Matt Murray’s no-movement clause in his contract, which he used in this instance, had the ‘ugh’ was put on hold.
Murray no-no-ing the swap opened the door for general manager Pierre Dorion to swing a trade with Chicago for point-per-game forward Alex DeBrincat. If scoring was the team’s Achilles heel the past few years (Hell, actually everything was the team’s Achilles heel the past few years), then the injury got some much-needed wrap.
“The ability to add someone who’s a consistent goal scorer, who fits in with our core . . . a competitor with a proven track record,” was ideal, Dorion said to the media. “We’ve said since the end of the year we were looking for someone who could play in our top six, and he’s playing in our top six.”
While DeBrincat won’t have Patrick Kane on his line anymore he’ll likely have up-and-coming talent Tim Stutzle in his place. Dorion’s goal to solidify the afore-mentioned top six was step one. Mission accomplished.
The focus now shifts to the blueline.
Not telling you anything new when I say, it’s a pretty sad case. However with the addition of Jake Sanderson and the add of another quality defender through either free agency (July 13th, 12 ET) or via trade, things become somewhat tempered.
Finding available, quality defencemen won’t be easy. Dorion needs to continue his productive work on the back end to realistically give this team a shot at a post-season spot, something that this town hasn’t had a sniff of in five years.
THOUGHT, SEEN AND HEARD: The DeBrincat move must have been hard news to hear for Ottawa native Luke Richardson. Big Luke is, of course, the Blackhawks new head coach . . . Have to wonder about the thinking in Chicago. They’re claiming rebuild yet trade away a 24-year-old in DeBrincat and 21-year-old in Kirby Dach . . . Have to also wonder what perennial all-star Patrick Kane’s thinking now . . . Over to you Jonathan Toews . . . Chicago’s chasing Arizona for league dumping-ground-of-bad-salaries honours . . . Gary Bettman might be a good commissioner, but as a comedian, he makes a good commissioner . . . If you look up Bettman in the thesaurus, the synonym is cringe-worthy . . . People wondering about the whereabouts of Pierre McGuire found out Thursday night. Discuss amongst yourselves on this one . . . Apparently the chat rooms and message boards took me up on that already . . . Joe Sakic as GM of the year. Duh . . . Loved the death stare from projected No. 1 Shane Wright towards (everyone?) when he sat ‘till No. 4 and Seattle.