Waiting for the Leftovers - Ottawa Senators

We've taken a peek at quite a few teams close to the cap and prior to the start of the season who will need to make moves. I suppose it only fitting that we examine a team who is over the cap. It dawned on me that I hadn't considered Ottawa yet simply because we've spent this entire time looking at Dany Heatley, who is in fact still technically an Ottawa Senator. As a result, I just sort of ignored the rest of the team. I probably shouldn't do that however; because I know for a fact that while Heatley fills the most direct need on the Oilers, there are others on this team that Edmonton would have interest in.

Ottawa at this point is $563,000 over the cap. It's an easy fix if they choose to do so by moving a contract to the minors, but they haven't stopped fielding offers for Heatley in the hopes they can move him. The problem is, they can't. The Rangers are out, so are the Sharks. The Oilers say they're out, but they're really not. Minnesota has interest as do a couple teams like Philadelphia and Boston, but that interest is more the internal team conversations type about what they'd have to do to clear room to make that happen and both teams are quickly realizing it isn't realistic.

The most interesting part in Ottawa for me is that they have interest in a few of our players. If they were willing to take Penner, Cogliano and Smid; they likely still would be. Does that mean Ottawa, could they not be able to move Heatley would consider moving Spezza?

The Untouchables

Alfredsson by all accounts will finish his career a Senator. He's their captain, he's 36 and he's signed to a reasonable number on the downslope of his career. He's the one shining star or face of the franchise so to speak left in Ottawa and they won't get rid of him.

Chris Neil sparked some interest in the offseason, including in Edmonton; but if Ottawa retained him at $2 million a season for 3 years, which to me is an overpayment; they intend to hang on to him.

Kovalev won't be moved. Not after he's the one name that has in some way kept Ottawa from looking worse than they do during this offseason. He's not going to be as effective if Heatley comes back, but at this point, I don't think Ottawa cares. To me, Kovalev was a publicity signing, nothing more.

Filip Kuba is popular in Ottawa, but would be moved for the right price. He's not necessary in Edmonton however, thanks to the depth they have in similar style players.

Nick Foligno is coming into his own as a goal scorer and Ottawa sees big things for him. He's not going anywhere.

The Unwanted

I'm going to include Heatley in there, but under the understanding that had Heatley not expressed his desire to leave, he'd have been welcomed back to the team despite their poor play the last couple seasons. Even in a bad year he gets you 39 goals, and it's not that teams out there don't want Heatley, it's more that he comes with a high price tag, a long contract and baggage teams don't want to or can't take on.

Miker Fisher would be moved I think quite quickly if they could find value for him. He signed a big contract and hasn't come close to living up to it. He shows signs of flash and like he's going to turn a corner, but he doesn't. While he brings a physical game (led Ottawa in hits last year with 211) and his faceoffs are good at 51%, his price tag is simply too high for him to be a third line center which would be the ideal fit for him in Edmonton and kind of what he is in Ottawa.

The Wanted

Jason Spezza has been on the radar of the Oilers for at least two years. He's the perfect 1st line center. He passes more than he shoots, but despite that, he still shoots a lot (last year 246 times which was 2nd only to Dany Heatley). Spezza (53% faceoff guy, plays the powerplay and short handed), would take a lot of heat off of Horcoff which would be critical for Horcoff's offensive stats and has the ability to succeed in a crazy hockey market like Edmonton. But, I think if you're going to obtain Spezza, it takes Gagner and something with a substantial cap hit to do it. I would still make the trade, but I don't think a lot of people would agree with me. Hard to say if the Oilers feel the same way.

My darkhorse would be Jesse Winchester. He brings not much in terms of offense and from his stats, he has horrible hands -- a 2.6% shooting percentage. What he does offer, is a low contract ($550,000), great faceoff ability, 56.8% (granted on only 199 attempts) and he's got an edge to him in physical play while staying out of the penalty box for the most part. If the Oilers ended up making some kind of trade and Winchester was a thrown in, he'd work out well with this team.

I may be in the minority, but I'd almost rather have Spezza than Heatley. His cap hit is marginally lower, he doesn't come with the baggage, but he adds a lot of what Horcoff is relied upon to do every night which is key for Horcoff's future success. I'd still take Heatley if things go sour and he can't return to Ottawa, but Spezza is a great second option and it might be nice to have a player in Edmonton that has no bones about being here.


As a sens fan i can tell you that Spezza will NOT be moved unless something AMAZING comes along from the oilers. It might sound rediculous for us to ask for souray, hemsky,gange for spezza but he's going to be key to the sens moving forward.

August 16, 2009 at 8:06 AM comment-delete

I agree that Ottawa doesn't want to move Spezza, but that doesn't mean that what amounts to the most rediculous trade offer makes any sense. And Spezza for Hemsky, Souray and Gagner is about the most rediculous trade offer I've ever heard.

Hemsky, Gagner and Souray even if I wasn't an Oiler fan is a rediculous overpayment. There are few players that good in the NHL. I can name two maybe three Ovechkin, Crosby and Malkin and even then the trade makes little sense in terms of salary, which always has to be accounted for.

Souray at $5.4 Hemsky and $4.1 and Gagner at $1.6 makes $11.1 million in salary. I think the purpose of this article revolved around Ottawa's cap problems. Why would they take a trade for $4 million extra in salary? As a sens fan you should understand sometimes you have to make unfair trades to rid yourself of cap problems.

If those are the three Oilers you want in the trade, it's more like Spezza, Volchenkov and Foligno. Then maybe, it's more well rounded.

August 16, 2009 at 10:16 AM comment-delete

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