For the past three seasons I've posted an article looking at the Ottawa Senators' history with trade deadline deals. Most have been minor deals, and few have been actually effective, but every season it seems the Senators try at least one minor deal to bolster the team.
This year, with the Olympic Break putting a roster freeze into effect, there was an ipso facto trade deadline of February 12 to go with the literal trade deadline of March 3. Senators GM Bryan Murray started his moves, but has said he's looking for at least one more defenceman to add to the Senators blue line. While we wait for the roster freeze to thaw and any more moves to take shape, let's take a look at what the Senators have done in the past at this time of year:
2010: Outcome TBD
- Andy Sutton (03/02/2010): Ottawa swapped their second 2010 second-round pick (originally belonging to the San Jose Sharks, acquired in the Dany Heatley trade) for defensive, hard-hitting defenceman Sutton. He was brought in to solidify the Senators d-corps, and add a veteran, physical presence to the blueline to grind against opponents. He doesn't put up many points, but he'll be expected to be an important part of the Sens' playoff run.
- Matt Cullen (02/12/2010): The Senators already had pretty good offensive depth when Cullen was acquired, but he just brings more--something that never hurts in the playoffs. The Senators sent Alex Picard, who had become the seventh defenceman and wasn't performing to expectations, and a second-round pick to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange; seems like a reasonable price for a deal with very good potential, although it jeopardizes the team's defensive depth.
2009: Did not qualify for playoffs
- Pascal Leclaire (03/04/2009): Leclaire wasn't expected to play through the end of the 2008-09 season, but the hope was that he could be the answer to the Senators never-ending quest for a reliable starting goaltender. Two-third of the way through 2009-10, injuries have continued to dog Leclaire, and even when healthy he hasn't been consistent. Antoine Vermette was sent the other way, and has found the success he could never reach in Ottawa, but the Sens may have turned the second-round pick they got along with Leclaire into a real player in Robin Lehner--time will tell.
Chris Campoli (02/20/2009): Since joining the Senators, Campoli certainly hasn't been the boon he was expected to be. He and Mike Comrie were acquired by Ottawa in exchange for Dean McAmmond and a 2009 first-round draft choice (26th overall, later traded to Anaheim, who drafted ). Campoli was brought in as possibly an offensive leader on the Senators' blue line, but he's only put up 27P (8G, 19A) in 79GP over parts of two seasons. Still, depending on how de Haan pans out, the cost may not be overly high.
Mike Comrie (02/20/2009): A now-meaningless throw in with Campoli in the above-mentioned deal. Comrie may have been brought in as a last-ditch effort to bolster the offence and maybe claw into the playoffs, but Ottawa was far from a berth before him, and his 3G and 4A in 22GP did nothing to change that.
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 has struggled since) and Joe Corvo (who had demanded a trade). The deal didn't work out, but, in my opinion, was well worth the risk.
- 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.
- 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. He helped turn around the season for the Senators with 25P (13G and 12A) in 41GP, and then provided some level of support through the playoffs with 6P (2G, 4A) in 20GP.
- 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.
2006: Won CQF over Tampa Bay, Lost CSF to Buffalo
- Tyler Arnason (03/09/2006): An absolute bomb. Virtually nothing in the regular season (4A in 19GP), 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. It cost the Senators forward prospect Brooks Laich and a draft pick; Laich has become a huge part of the Washington Capitals success. He's had three straight 20+ goal seasons, totaling 136P (64G and 72A) in 226GP since 2007-08. Probably the worst deadline deal in Senators history, but that's the risk that's run in these trades.
- 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 was a salary-dump component of the deal that sent Hossa to Atlanta for Heatley the following 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, but Gleason turned into a pretty good shutdown defender after his coming-out party in the 2009 playoffs 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 didn't work out.
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 (1G, 3A) in the four-game series loss to Buffalo, so he wasn't a bad pickup--especially since he only cost Chris Murray, who only played 36 NHL games after the deal.
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.
If I've missed any deals, let me know. Very few deals have been the immediate gains that Ottawa was hoping for, but this season's pickup of Matt Cullen has the potential to be the biggest "right now" pickup in franchise history.