The Ottawa Senators have never really been very good in trade-deadline deals. They've made a few of them, but those ones rarely had any affect on the Senators' playoff runs for that season--with the possible exception of Mike Comrie's first time in Ottawa in 2007.
This year, though, the Senators will be sellers for the first time in over a decade. Will the story be different? Perhaps. It will certainly be more difficult to judge, because acquisitions will likely be prospects or draft picks, which will take a little while to pan out.
Still, here's a bit of Ottawa Senators history on the trade deadline, originally posted on Sens Army Blog (my old stompin' grounds) and updated to date. It will hopefully tide us over until the big NHL Trade Deadline
2009: TBD (Likely out of playoffs)
- Chris Campoli (02/20/2009): Remains to be seen if this deal, with the New York Islanders, was a win for Ottawa, but it looks good so far. Campoli may be the puck-moving defenceman Ottawa is looking for, and he only cost us Dean McAmmond (a pending UFA who was unlikely to re-sign in Ottawa) and a first-round pick (originally San Jose's, and thus likely 26-30 overall).
Mike Comrie (02/20/2009): Also part of the Campoli deal, Comrie--a pending UFA--was likely just a toss-in salary dump. Still, hopes are high that the Sens can sign him to a reasonable contract extension to help ease secondary scoring concerns.
2008: Lost CQF to Pittsburgh
- Cory Stillman (02/11/2008): Brought in to provide secondary scoring, notched 19P (3G, 16A) in 24 regular-season games played and 2P (2G) in four playoff games. Cost us Patrick Eaves (who hasn't been terrific in Carolina anyway) and Joe Corvo (who had demanded a trade). Probably regrettable in retrospect, although who knows how long Corvo would have lasted, anyway.
- Mike Commodore (02/11/2008): The other part of the Stillman trade, the hope was that Commodore would provide leadership and some serious playoff grit. Didn't do much to stop the bleeding, although he did get 2P (2A) in the four-game playoff sweep.
- Martin Lapointe (02/26/2008): Lapointe was acquired to give some grit and leadership, but didn't do enough to turn the tables. He only cost a sixth-round pick, but who knows what RW Ben Smith (who was drafted with that pick) will do in the NHL, if anything.
2007: Won CQF over Pittsburgh, Won CSF over New Jersey, Won CF over Buffalo, Lost SCF to Anaheim
- Oleg Saprykin (02/27/2007): Cost us a second-rounder, and was a decent contributor. He scored one clutch goal in the playoff run, which is all you can really ask of a fourth-liner.
- Mike Comrie (01/03/2007): This was a steal of a deal for Alexei Kaigorodov, although his playoff production dipped. He helped offer the Sens ebergy and a bit of secondary scoring.
Lawrence Nycholat (02/26/2007): Was scratched throughout the playoffs, this was a depth move. Cost Andy Hedlund and a pick, but was turned into Ryan Shannon in the summer of 2008, so it's a win for now.
Deadline deals from 1998 to 2006 continued after the fold...
2006: Won CQF over Tampa Bay, Lost CSF to Buffalo
- Tyler Arnason (03/09/2006): Bomb! Virtually nothing in the regular season, scratched in the playoffs, and left the next year. Brandon Bochenski and that second-round pick this deal cost us would have scored more points.
- Mike Morrison (03/09/2006): Claimed off waivers, Mikey Mo was an insurance plan. He's got a wickedly nicknameable name, though, so this acquisition was a success.
2004: Lost CQF to Toronto
- Peter Bondra (02/18/2004): As much as Marian Hossa loved his childhood hero coming to town, Bondra did nothing in the playoffs. The players lost in this deal (Brooks Laich and a pick) might not look so bad in a Senators uniform right now.
- Greg de Vries (03/09/2004): Looking to boost the veteran presence and defensive awareness, this trade was ugly. It cost us Karel Rachunek, who I maintain is an NHL defenceman, and Alexandre Giroux, who isn't an NHLer. De Vries wsa gone the next September.
- Todd Simpson (02/04/2004): Scratched throughout the playoffs, Simpson was a depth player for whom the Sens got rid of perennial disappointment Petr Schastlivy.
2003: Won CQF over New York Islanders, Won CSF over Philadelphia, Lost CF to New Jersey
Bryan Smolinski (03/11/2003): Smokes came over for Tim Gleason, stuck around for a few seasons (102P in 171GP) and helped a bit in the 2003 playoff drive (9 points). He did produce for the Sens, and Gleason has turned out to be a bottom-pairing defenceman at best for Carolina.
Vaclav Varada (02/05/2003): A Muckler love-in brought in VV for Jakub Klepis (who hasn't blossomed into the player he was thought to be, anyway). Varada played a few more seasons, 117 games in total, but he wasn't tremendous. I can remember one goal of his, in game 7 of the 2004 playoffs against Toronto.
- Rob Ray (03/10/2003): "Future Considerations" brought him in, and he did nothing. He played six games the following year, and scored a goal. He was a backup to give Ottawa some toughness.
2002: Won CQF over Philadelphia, Lost CSF to Toronto
Juha Ylonen (03/15/2002): One of the strangest deals John Muckler pulled off. Ylonen scored five points in seven games over the run, but he didn't make a difference when it mattered. Against the Leafs, Andre Roy (who the Sens traded for Ylonen) might have made a difference physically, but hindsight is 20/20 (plus there were rumours of off-ice controversy surrounding Roy). More importantly, the sixth-round throw-in pick was used for Paul Ranger, who wouldn't be too bad right now.
- Benoit Brunet (03/16/2002): Cost next to nothing, and got some playing time in his one season. Nothing wrong with that.
2001: Lost CQF to Toronto
- Curtis Leschyshyn (03/13/2001): Didn't matter in the playoff loss, but was a valuable veteran in future seasons with the Sens. Played 200 solid games over four seasons for the Sens, plus he only cost a third-round pick.
- Mike Sillinger (03/01/2001): Might have been good for the dressing room, but he didn't do anything in the playoffs and moved onto Columbus the following July.
2000: Lost CQF to Toronto
- Tom Barasso (03/14/2000): Cost us Janne Laukkanen and Ron Tugnutt, but wasn't able to cure the Sens of their Leafs woes. A risk was taken, and it was a terrible failure.
1999: Lost CQF to Buffalo
- Ted Donato (03/20/1999): Did nothing in the playoffs, but cost nothing, and was part of a deal to bring in Patrick Lalime the following June.
- Nelson Emerson (03/23/1999): Scored four points in the four-game series loss to Buffalo, so he wasn't a bad pickup.
Bill Berg (11/27/1998): Not really a deadline-deal, he was traded for Stan Neckar and scored 4 points in 44 regular-season games. The epitome of a disappointment.
1998: Won CQF over New Jersey, Lost CSF to Buffalo.
Vaclav Prospal (01/17/1998): Acquired for Alex Daigle in a pretty good deal for the Sens. He didn't do anything in the playoffs that year (and very little in future years), but he played a few more years and scored 111 points in 213 regular-season games for the Sens.
Pat Falloon (01/17/1998): Also brought over in the Daigle trade, Falloon did nothing and was gone at the end of the season.
- Per Gustafsson (03/17/1998): Cost an eighth-round pick, played nine games, then was gone. Inconsequential.
Be sure to let me know if I forgot any, and I'll update. The bottom line is this: Ottawa has had little to no quantifiable success in trade-deadline deals, but the rule of thumb is that buyers often overpay at the deadline. If that's the case, it is in Ottawa's favour this season as Bryan Murray looks to sell off some assets.