Well... I'd heard the climate for trades was a little cool, but it seems like a lot of teams have completely lost hope in their abilities to trade players, and have decided the waiver wire is the only option.
The Senators once again placed Martin Gerber on re-entry waivers to try and get rid of at least some portion of his contract, and maybe give the Swiss goaltender some chance to redeem his horrifically tarnished reputation as an NHL goaltender.
Defenceman Brendan Bell on was also placed on waivers, which seems a little odd because Bell has had a pretty good season as a Senators' depth defenceman, in my opinion. But I suppose with the Chris Campoli acquisition, and possibly the acquisition of another defenceman by tomorrow, there was no need for Bell on the O-Sens. Better to send him to Binghamton where he will get to play and genuinely contribute to that team's playoff run. Although there is a chance Bell will still play tonight against Calgary, Christoph Schubert will play tonight--either as a forward in place of Shean Donovan or, if Bell is claimed, as a defenceman.
Along with Bell and Gerber, though, a lot of rather big-name players have been placed on waivers. This includes, obviously, Sean Avery (who was picked up by the New York Rangers) and Lawrence Nycholat (nabbed by the Calgary Flames), but also Brendan Morrison, Miro Satan, Gary Roberts, Eric Perrin, as well as some lesser names including Peter Olvecky, Jon Sim, Craig Adams, Aaron Voros, and Erik Reitz. Plus former Senator Tom Preissing was not only put on waivers but also cleared yesterday, meaning the Los Angeles Kings couldn't even give him--and the $2.75M contract he's got next season and in 2010-2011--away.
I think it's safe to call this a trend. We'll see if there are more waiver drops later today or tomorrow, but it seems more likely that we'll see mostly trades for the deadline tomorrow, and these waiver moves were because the players weren't going to be traded.
And hey, if you're bored while browsing NHL trade rumours, check out this hilarious Eklund Rumour Generator, which comes with a disclaimer: It's all for fun. Don't take them to mean anything. Still, they've got a couple great deals involving the Senators:
Fleury to Senators? (e2)
According to sources within the Pittsburgh Penguins organisation, the Ottawa Senators are willing to part with D Anton Volchenkov, LW Jarkko Ruutu and RW Daniel Alfredsson to obtain the services of G Marc-Andre Fleury. Remember, you heard it here first!
Kessel to Senators? (e1)
According to sources within the Boston Bruins organisation, the Ottawa Senators are willing to part with C Jason Spezza, a Gary Bettman bobblehead, a bucket of fried chicken and RW Daniel Alfredsson to obtain the services of RW Phil Kessel. Remember, you heard it here first!
Ruutu to Panthers? (e3)
According to sources within the Ottawa Senators organisation, the Florida Panthers are willing to part with D Jay Bouwmeester and a 3rd round pick to obtain the services of LW Jarkko Ruutu. Remember, you heard it here first!