2012 Trade Deadline - Because It's Never Too Soon To Start Ridiculously Inaccurate Trade Speculation


7 Games into the season, and we're already 3 games under .500.  There's reason enough to believe that the Sens can be better than their record so far (as this most recent win against the Jets has indicated), but there's very little reason to believe that we're a playoff team this year.  Don't get me wrong, I'd love it if we were, but the last thing we want to do is give Brian Murray enough faith to be a buyer at Deadline Day this year instead of a seller.

Last year's deadline deals marked the official launch of the Senate Reform.  While blowing the old team up was heartbreaking, it was also incredibly exciting to watch the Sens build up their assets and start daydreaming for the draft.  Okay, maybe that was just me.  In one fell swoop, a huge chunk of the team was thrown out the door.  The question is, though, what happens this year?

To a certain extent, our most tradeable players were all taken away at last year's deadline.  If the Senators are, as I am loathe to admit they will likely be, sellers again, what can we expect to lose and what can we expect to gain?  Here's one man's opinion, going down the roster.

Daniel Alfredsson

My decision to go in alphabetical order has left me with one of the biggest enigmas to talk about first.  Obviously, no one's ideal is to trade Alfredsson.  He's the lifeblood of the team, and I'd love to see him retire a Sen.  That said, if he is wanting to make a Cup run, we're not the ones to give it to him. 
Trade Likelihood:  Mysterious - Many articles will be written between now and the deadline about it, and I'm sure I know less than most people writing them
Likely Return: While if Alfie were to request a trade to vie for the cup, we'd all suspect that this was a retirement move, having one more year on Alfie's contract is a strong negotiating chip.  This is not necessarily a rental.  A first round pick, or a strong prospect could result, if the right buyer could be found.

Bobby Butler

Butler is a young, potential long term top 6 guy.  That said, he's shown some trouble so far adjusting to the Paulrus' system.  If he continues to struggle, and is on the outs with Maclean come midseason, and Murray could get a good return, it could just be doable.  Puempel, Silfverberg and Noeson are all going to want a spot next year, and Murray may decide that one of them is a better bet.
Trade Likelihood: Low
Likely Return:  If we're at the point of trading him, it would be hard to convince another team that he's a 30 goal scorer in the making.  That said, he's still young, and has a lot of potential.  A second or third round pick or a mid-level prospect should be attainable.

Matt Carkner

I like Carkner a lot, but he's just what the doctor ordered on deadline day for a lot of teams.  He's a UFA, he's cheap, and he's a big tough defensemen, and you can't have enough of those come deadline day.  I don't necessarily think BM will be shopping him around, but he may be on the receiving end of a few phone calls.
Trade Likelihood:  Moderate
Likely Return:  Depends on the market.  If the right team with cap trouble needs defensive help, he could get something surprisingly high.

Eric Condra

Condra is part of the young core that seemingly brought the team back from the dead and bumper us from 2nd overall pick to 6th from 29th place to 26th last season.  His future seemed certain when he got that one way deal, but hasn't looked as strong so far this season.  As mentionned earlier, even younger guys are gunning for spots next year, so creating room could be a priority.
Trade Likelihood: Low
Likely Return:  While I like Condra, he doesn't have as big of an upside as Butler.  While he's supposed to be one of our young guys, he's already 25 and teams may be thinking that this may be as good as he gets.  That said, he's cheap and hard working, and a team with cap issues may jump at him.  A third round pick or a long-shot prospect may be the most we could hope for.

Jared Cowen

I'm not even going to think up something to say here.  The 3D (horrible nickname for Cowen, Rundblad and Karlsson) aren't going anywhere.
Trade Likelihood: To quote Charleton Heston "FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS!"
Likely Return:  It'd have to be good.

Stephane Da Costa

Da Costa looked strong in his first few games, but his play has dropped off a little since then.  He'll probably end up back in Bingo at some point this year.  That said, it'd take some seriously poor play for us to jump off of the Da Costa bandwagon this season.   Maybe his game needs the AHL, but he should probably be a part of this team for the next few years.
Trade Likelihood:  Very Low
Likely Return: It would take something good to pluck Da Costa from us.  If Muckler were in charge, we'd get a 37 year old UFA fourth line centre for him, but if Murray's been better with anything, it's asset management.  We'd need a prospect of equal upside, or multiple picks, perhaps a second and a third, to part with a guy who is potentially a big part of the future of the franchise.

Nikita Filatov

Filatov is apparently tearing it up down in the AHL.  I think most of us are assuming he'll be back up in the NHL when Z-Bad's 9 games are up.  If Z-Bad stays, I'm still betting Da Costa gets sent down at some point.  There will be room on the team for Filatov.  That said, will he have learned what we sent him down to learn?  And what the heck did we send him down to learn, anyway?
Trade Likelihood: Low
Likely Return:  We got him for a 3rd round pick.  Conceivably, no one was offerring anything higher.  For us to get a better offer, Filatov will have to play well for us for the next few months.  If he plays well for us for the next few months, though, why are we trading him?

Nick Foligno

He plays strong and is a lot of fun to watch.  That said, Foligno never quite turned into what we drafted him to be.  With previously mentionned prospects who will want in next year, not even taking into account who we get with what will likely be a high first rounder this year, you have to think this year is make it or break it for Foligno.  Either he shows his value to the team, or he shows his value to the trade market.
Trade Likelihood: Moderate
Likely Return: The way Foligno plays, I bet he could be a beast of a third liner in the playoffs.  Kelly got us a 2nd round pick with that resume, and I'd imagine the same could be gotten for Foligno.

Sergei Gonchar

I'm sure he'd be willing to waive his no-trade clause.  A rebuilding team was never what he signed on for.  Is there a market for him, though?  He's shown lately that he's clearly past his prime, but a lot of teams at deadline are hurting for some PP help, and Gonchar could still be valued as a PP specialist.
Trade Likelihood:  Moderate (High likelihood that we'll try to trade him, but I lowered him to Moderate because it takes two to tango)
Likely Return:  That's a tough question.  Frankly, I'd take a Kovelev-style 6th rounder.  Not because I have any ill will to Gonchar, I just feel it's time the young guys took over the blue-line and he's in the way.  Could probably do better, and get at least a 4th, though.  We'd also need to take back some salary.

Colin Greening

Similar to the Condra and Butler.  I like Greening, but we have some people pushing for spots next year.  While he's a young hard working guy, I don't necessarily see him being here for a particularly long time.  I think he'll last another year, but I don't think he's part of the new core.
Trade Likelihood: Low
Likely Return:  Like Condra, he's 25, and there's little reason for interested teams to believe he'll ever grow into more than what he is now.  Like Condra, he could maybe get us a 3rd round pick.

Eric Karlsson

See what I wrote about Cowen.
Trade Likelihood: FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS!!!
Likely Return:  I'd want another Lottery Pick if Karlsson were going anywhere.  I doubt anyone would offer one, though.

Zenon Konopka

When Konopka was signed, what entered my head was "here's someone we've signed so we have someone to trade on deadline day."  Teams are always being pressured into getting "tougher" for the playoffs, and Konopka could help.  That's the only thing I've though of that made sense of signing him in the first place.
Trade Likelihood:  High
Likely Return:  Not much.  A fifth rounder if we're lucky.

Filip Kuba

Well, I'm sure this is the one we've all been waiting for.  Sens fans have made no secret of wanting rid of him.  Can BM find a taker?  It seems to me like defensemen are always being sought at the deadline, and as an upcoming UFA with a reasonably managable cap hit, he may be a target.
Trade Likelihood:  High
Likely Return:  People in the league know we're anxious to sell, and that doesn't give us much bargaining room.  Contrary to some opinions, I haven't thought Kuba's been that bad this year, he's mostly been getting a bad rap for past transgressions.  If he plays solid between now and February, could we get a second rounder?  Probably not, but dare to dream...

Brian Lee

Is the dream dead?  Probably not.  With Kuba, Gonchar and Carkner having higher trade likelihoods, someone's going to have to hold down the fort.  The jury's still out on Lee.  Clearly he's not what we were hoping for when we drafted him, but he could still come into his own, and we need a fourth young guy to round out the lines as the 3D get older.
Trade Likelihood:  Low
Likely Return:  It would probably have to be high for Murray to give up on Lee before we know how he's going to turn out.  If someone wants him, a good negotiator could talk about how key he is in the future plans of the team, and try to score a strong defensive prospect in return.

Milan Michalek

Michalek is showing his worth so far this year, and would likely have some parties interested in him.  That said, with two years left on his deal with a 4.33 cap hit, it's a tough sell.  Also, we still need someone for Spezza to set up.
Trade Likelihood:  Low
Likely Return:  Like Gonchar, we're looking at taking back some salary.  On top of that, the return would need to be pretty good.  Michalek is the only good piece remaining from the Heatley deal, and Murray knows that anything he got back would be compared, fairly or not, to Heatley.

Chris Neil

Murray surprised everyone by putting Neil on the list of keepers last year.  There's always a market for tough guys, especially ones like Neil who actually have a bit of skill to fall back on when the fighting doesn't pan out.  Will Murray keep him on the untouchable list, or was he just holding out for better value?
Trade Likelihood: Moderate
Likely Return:  If I'm Murray, I want a prospect who could be the next Neil.  Guys who can fight AND play are reasonably rare, so if someone's devellopping someone who could fill that void eventually, and top it off with a 3rd round pick to ice the cake, it'd be tough to turn down.

Chris Phillips

However you feel about Phillips being kept on last year, the decision has been made.  A new contract and a fresh no-trade clause was signed, so we can move on.
Trade Likelihood:  Very Low
Likely Return:  Not even worth discussing.

Peter Regin

Like Foligno, Regin could be having a make it or break it year.  And by "break it" I am referring to his shoulder.  I like Regin when he's healthy, but it just doesn't happen very often.  How long do we keep him if he's going to be out so often?
Trade Likelihood:  Low to Moderate
Likely Return:  That depends on if you can find a GM who is a fan, and willing to make a leap of faith.  Regin as a good top sixer who is having trouble staying healthy.  Might be worth something to the right person.

David Rundblad


Zach Smith

Unrelated to anything, I would really like to know the origin of the whole "giving a crap" joke...  That said, I think Murray gives a crap about keeping Zach Smith.  He's touted as the next Mike Fisher, so that could be worth holding on to.
Trade Likelihood: Low
Likely Return: Not enough.  I don't think the league knows him as well as we do yet, and probably wouldn't give a crap about what we think he's worth.  (That's right, not understanding the origins of a joke doesn't stop me from taking it and running with it)

Jason Spezza

We've all heard the rumours that Spezz told his family he'd rather play for Toronto.  I tried to talk my girlfriend's dumb Leaf fan brother into all the reasons that it couldn't happen.  First of all, while I haven't talked much about the Cap floor here, Spezza's 7 million dollar anchor is the only think keeping us over it.  We'd have to take a LOT of salary back, but what we'd want from the trade wouldn't be salary.  What we'd want, realistically, is the Kessel Trade 2.0.  So, for the trade to work Capwise, we'd need to take back a lot of salary, and for it to suit our interests, we'd want multiple first round picks.  Unfortunately, while the Leafs aren't the Godsend everyone here in Toronto thinks they are this year, we're not getting a second and a ninth overall pick from them.  We may even get something, and I'm loathe to say this, higher than 14th.  So could a trade be made?  Well, if the idiots Leafs got Spezza, they wouldn't need Connelly anymore, and that may be enough salary coming back, combined with the lateness in the season of the deal.  He'd be someone to hold down our fort at centre while we wait for younger guys to flourish.  Meanwhile, to make this trade worthwhile for us, I have to think we'd take their prized defensive prospect Gardiner, as well as a couple of firsts.  That would be what it would take for us to take the deal, but probably more than they'd want to give up.  That said, I surprised myself in realizing that, while nearly impossible, I can think of one possible deal that we would take.  Maybe there are even others?  I don't know.  But how would we manage without an heir apparent to Alfie's throne?  And could we look ourselves in the mirror if we gave the stupids Leafs the piece that would likely put them over the top in the hunt for the playoffs?
Trade Likelihood: Low to moderate.  I would have said very low before I came up with that whole rationale, but I still don't think it's going to happen.
Likely Return:  See above?

Jesse Winchester

A fourth liner and a UFA.  No reason why not, but I don't necessarily see a market for him.
Trade Likelihood:  Moderate
Likely Return:  Fourth rounder, at the most.

Mika Zibanijad

The only one outside of the 3D that has to be totally off the radar.  No matter the return, how could our GM, in the first year of our rebuild, give up on the centrepiece of our first draft year of the rebuild?  It'd certainly shake all confidence in the team.
Trade Likelihood:  Not gonna happen
Likely Return:  Nothing less than a sixth overall pick.  That's what we got him at, and that's what we feel he's worth.


Phew, that all took longer to write up than I thought, and will likely be proven completely wrong by February.  That was fun!

This FanPost was written by a member of the Silver Seven community, and does not necessarily reflect the beliefs or opinions of the site managers, editors, or Sports Blogs Nation, Inc.

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