On late Wednesday afternoon, in the span of a few hours there were a couple of big trades in the NHL, and it seemingly opened the market. The hotstove has been extremely cold this season, up until the Ryan Johansen for Seth Jones trade. Jonathan Drouin has also asked for a trade from Tampa Bay, and you can bet that 29 other teams are lining up to try to fleece Steve Yzerman.
In a semi-interesting note, Bob McKenzie has noted Ottawa as a potential suitor for Drouin:
McKenzie told TSN960 in MTL this AM that he could count more than a dozen teams that have interest in Drouin, including the Sens and Habs.— Paul (@Sens_Army_) January 7, 2016
Obviously, they are among many teams that are interested, but he also mentioned that the Senators are "aggressive" in their pursuit. I mentioned on twitter a few days ago that Ottawa is rarely involved in trade rumours, and they sort of proved me wrong right away. Although that news is a bit exciting, the very next day (and immediately after I had already written the initial version of this article) McKenzie said this about the situation:
McKenzie on TSN1200 pre-game on odds Drouin lands in Ottawa: "I'd say slim to none."— Paul (@Sens_Army_) January 7, 2016
He has also said that because Ottawa and Montreal are in Tampa Bay's division, they would have to overpay for Drouin. So what does this have to do with Cody Ceci then?
Initially, I was going to talk about how Ceci would have been a good option to start trade conversations with Tampa Bay. Travis Yost mentioned this in Wednesday's edition of the Hockey PDOCast with Dimitri Filipovic, as he was saying that Ceci could intrigue the Lightning. They apparently are searching for a right-handed defenseman, and they could solve that problem in a Drouin deal with Ceci involved. In a hypothetical deal, Ottawa would need to include more than just Ceci, but he would have been the centre-piece.
After McKenzie mentioned there was an extremely slim chance of him going to Ottawa though I thought there wasn't much point in reading too much into this. It seems like some wishful thinking, but I thought it deserved mentioning anyway. It was a bit discouraging to see half of my article lose its purpose, but I think there is still an interesting debate to be had.
Besides trading for Drouin, Ottawa will assuredly be looking for a trade with any team for a defenseman and for a forward. With Clarke MacArthur possibly out for a very long time, their forward depth remains thin. They could use a 2nd/3rd line winger to help with that, plus Bryan Murray would love to improve the defense corps. Murray has been looking in the past for depth defensemen like Kris Russell, Trevor Daley, and Ron Hainsey, but I'm sure he will also be targeting legitimate top-four defensemen as well.
If he wants to get someone who is proven and can make Ottawa's second pairing better, then Ceci may have to be in that deal. If a team like Winnipeg is selling off assets like Tobias Enstrom, then they will want a young defenseman in return, who can possibly replicate that production but at a younger age. Furthermore, if the Senators are bringing in a defenseman, they will have to ship one out, and Ceci would probably be the most desirable to other teams. I would say Patrick Wiercioch is, but for some reason hardly anybody in the NHL wants to trade peanuts for him.
Either way, if Ottawa wants to legitimately improve at either forward or defense, one of the biggest assets they have is Cody Ceci. I'm not totally sold on his play, as he only looked really good late last season when Wiercioch was playing out of his mind. I'm sure he still has some value around the league, and it may be wise of Murray to capitalize on that, because they have already waited too long on a defenseman who now has zero value.
Whether you think he is good or not, he is one of the few assets that Ottawa has. Sadly they don't have a great farm system anymore, and players like Colin White and Thomas Chabot shouldn't be going anywhere. He is certainly a player to entice other teams with, and that's indisputable. But the question is whether or not the Senators are willing to move on from him. I know I would be willing to move Ceci, but I can see why some would want to see what he can do as he matures. Would you trade Ceci?