Top Ten Trades In Senators History

As the season approaches and my incessant need for Senators news grows stronger, I happened to have an extended bar discussion with a fellow fan at the Summer Fanfest. The question was simple, what was the greatest Senators trade of all time? What amazed me about the conversation was that beyond the most obvious trades, what we remembered as being meaningful was quite different. So I decided to look back at the team’s history since expansion and decided to rank its ten best trades.

Honourable Mentions: For different reasons, these successful trades just did not cut it in the top ten.

February 25, 1993. The Senators traded Brad Miller to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 9th round pick. The pick? Pavol Demitra. Although he would not achieve greatness in Ottawa, it still ranks as one of the more impressive trades in team history given it was essentially a zero cost move for a future all-star.

February 26 2012. Ottawa trades their 2013 2nd round pick for Ben Bishop. In what turned out to be a great trade for Ottawa, Bishop was subsequently traded to Tampa a year and a half later. The trade does not make the top ten by virtue of Bishop only being in Ottawa for a short time. Depending on how his career goes and how Ottawa performs in net, his move to Tampa may end up on a completely different list.

September 12th, 2009. Ottawa acquires Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo and a 2010 2nd round pick for Dany Heatley and a 2010 fifth round pick. Though it would not be immediately apparent, Ottawa actually won this trade in hindsight. However the circumstances surrounding Heatley’s trade negotiations gave Ottawa a significantly weaker return than it could have.

March 11th, 2003.: Ottawa trades the rights to Tim Gleason for Bryan Smolinski. Tim Gleason has had a long and relatively successful career since getting traded but Smolinksi put up decent numbers for multiple seasons for a relatively low cost. A good trade for Ottawa, it ultimately ranks as a toss-up for both sides.

And Now, The List

#10. August 23rd 2005. Ottawa trades Marian Hossa and Greg De Vries for Dany Heatley. This trade does not make the higher spots on the list by virtue of hindsight. Yes Heatley was productive for a few years in Ottawa but ultimately became a sore spot for the organization and a disaster as the years went by. Hossa on the other hand has continued his high level of play until this day.

#9. January 3rd, 2007. Ottawa trades former 2nd round pick Alexei Kaigorodov for Mike Comrie. Although his time in Ottawa short, Comrie was an effective top six forward for Ottawa in the latter half of 2007 and their subsequent play into the Stanley Cup final. Kaigorodov amounted to nothing in the NHL and publicly had demanded a trade before being dealt.

#8. October 1st, 1996. Ted Drury and the rights to Marc Moro are traded to the Anaheim Ducks in return for Jason York and Shaun Van Allen. I ranked this trade based on value, Ottawa got half a decade’s worth of solid if not spectacular play from two players in return for a journeyman and failed pick.

#7. February 18th, 2011: Ottawa trades Brian Elliot to the Colorado Avalanche in return for Craig Anderson. Ottawa acquired a true starting goaltender after an extended period of poor goaltending. Craig Anderson played two very strong seasons in Ottawa before struggling in his third year. However essentially being acquired for free, Anderson has a been a fantastic pickup for Ottawa.

#6. June 19th 1999. Ottawa trades Ted Donato and the Rights to Antti-Jusi Niemi to the Anaheim Ducks in return for Patrick Lalime. Well there is absolutely no question his history in Ottawa will forever be defined by a single game; he continues to be Ottawa’s most successful goalie a decade after he left. He holds the team record for most wins in a season and most shutouts in a season. He’s not a bad play by play announcer either.

#5. June 22nd, 1996. Ottawa acquires Shawn McEachern for Trent McCleary and a 3rd round pick. The first true steal in Ottawa’s history, a top six forward was attained for a fringe NHL player and a never was. McEachern would go to play six highly productive seasons for Ottawa, routinely averaging point totals in the fifties. McCleary finished his NHL career with 25 points….total.

#4. December 17th, 2011. Ottawa trades David Rundblad and their 2nd round pick (Anthony Stolarz) for Kyle Turris. Somewhat contentious at the time, Ottawa gambled on a change of scenery invigorating what many believed was a draft bust. Though not immediate, Kyle Turris has developed into an effective and productive top six forward and current top-line center of the Ottawa Senators.

#3. June 20, 2008. Ottawa trades the 18th overall pick ( Chet Pickard) and their 3rd round pick (Taylor Beck) to trade to up to 15th overall (Erik Karlsson). In a trade that merely excited the hometown crowd at the time, Ottawa drafted its first homegrown superstar since Jason Spezza. A Norris Trophy winner already, Ottawa absolutely hit a home run with this trade.

#2. January 23rd, 1996. Brian Berard, Don Beaupre and Martin Straka are traded to the New York Islanders in return for Damian Rhodes and Wade Redden. Although Rhodes only played in Ottawa for a short time he did help Ottawa win its 1st ever playoff series. Wade Redden was far and away Ottawa’s most prolific defenceman until a boy named Erik Karlsson was drafted over a decade later.

And at #1. June 23rd 2001. Ottawa trades Alexei Yashin for Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt and the 2nd overall pick (Jason Spezza). Without a doubt one of most one-sided trades in NHL history, Ottawa acquired a 1st line center and a 1st pairing defenceman for a scorer on the downside of his career. Poor Bill Muckalt though could not score a goal the next year to save his life which prevented the trade from being a complete rip-off. This trade defined Ottawa’s team for over half a decade. Given the shift in the NHL into focusing on the draft, it is unlikely a trade like this will ever happen again.

Glaring Omissions? Disagreement Over The Rankings? Overvalued/Undervalued? Please comment as I doubt everyone will agree with my rankings…well beyond #1 at least.

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