The Ottawa Senators are struggling right now. Although offence isn't their biggest problem--they're ninth in the league in goals for and eighth in shots for on a per-game basis--find a way to improve that position might increase the ability to solve those problems that are more serious. Like defence.
With that in mind, a name has come up lately: Martin Erat. He's demanded a trade for the second time in less than a year, expressing displeasure at his ice time under head coach Adam Oates in Washington. He's a right winger who has averaged almost 0.649 points per game in his career, slightly better than Milan Michalek's career numbers. His cap hit is $4.5M, but his actual salary this year is just $3.75M and then next year it drops to $2.25M--and that's where it gets interesting. The Senators should be actively seeking cap bargains like Erat, and his sudden availability presents an opportunity.
Contrast Erat's current position with that of Michalek himself, whose cap hit is $4.33M despite his actual salary being $6M for this season. A one-for-one swap could give the Capitals a bit more cap space and a player who's four years younger than their current player. Michalek's also a left winger, and could potentially play with Alex Ovechkin on the team's top line--giving it a dimension of speed that the line currently lacks.
Questions remain, though. Would the Capitals be interested in Michalek, who's struggled over the last couple seasons and doesn't quite look the same as he once was? Should the Senators be interested in Erat, who hasn't been able to maintain his production since joining the Eastern Conference?
SILVER SEVEN GAME NIGHT UPDATE: There are still a few seats left for our Sens/Coyotes game on December 21, available for $39. We've also still got tickets left for our suite rental on Sunday, March 16 against the Colorado Avalanche; those ones are $100 each.
- GM Bryan Murray may be looking for a defenceman. He should be. Rumour has it youngsters Michael Del Zotto and Dmitry Kulikov are on the market, according to Bruce Garrioch. [Sun]
- But Murray's got to make a decision at this point: Is he willing to pay what it`ll take to win now? On the other hand, is he willing to wait out this year and hope for wins later? [Black Aces]
- What's wrong with the Senators? Where do I start... [Sun]
- What's right with the Senators? They're apparently worth $380M today, so that's not bad. In fact, it might even make it worthwhile to invest a few million dollars more in the on-ice product! [6th Sens | Sun]
- Another positive: The B-Sens have won eight of their last nine and are 13-5 right now! If there was a bit more flexibility in terms of two-way contracts, Ottawa could even bring up some of these high-scoring youngsters! [Citizen]
- Clarke MacArthur rules. [Citizen]
- A group of retired NHLers are charging that the NHL has actively hidden information about the risks of concussions from its players. [ESPN]
- The NHL and Rogers signed a $5.232B, 12-year broadcast deal yesterday, which includes a provision that will see CBC continue broadcasting Hockey Night in Canada. It's kind of a big deal, but let's hope Sportsnet improves the quality of their on-air personalities. [NHL]
- With that deal mentioned above, the NHL on TSN is a thing of the past. Expect TSN to double-down on the NFL and the CFL with this revelation, and they'll probably work to add local broadcast rights of the Senators (they've already got local TV rights to the Jets and Canadiens). [Puck Daddy]
- CBC's HNIC will also be significantly affected by the deal; they gain all advertising revenue from it, and will exercise creative control on the HNIC broadcast. [Puck Daddy]
- Nazem Kadri finally got a slight amount of comeuppance. If he keeps playing the way he has been, there will be more where that comes from. [HockeyFights]