In case you missed it, a trade went down late Saturday night involving some Senators. With the two teams currently out of the playoff race, Tim Murray and his uncle Bryan hooked up on a seven player swing with greener pastures for both on the horizon.between two unlikely candidates, long time rivals Rochester Americans and the Binghamton
The change of scenery may help, as both clubs seemed to have some locker room issues that have now been resolved.
The #Sens have acquired forwards Jason Akeson and Phil Varone, defenceman Jerome Gauthier-Leduc and a conditional draft pick from Buffalo.— Sens communications (@Media_Sens) February 28, 2016
While Tim Murray continues to peck away at his former stomping grounds as an ex-GM for Binghamton, I'm surprised he hasn't nabbed his second favorite in Shane Prince, with goaltender Robin Lehner successfully being his first selection. Maybe Prince is here to stay and perhaps Dave Cameron should lighten up a bit giving him some ice time. Guess we'll save that for another day.
As far as this trade is concerned, I can't speak for the Americans, but will put it out there that Binghamton has had some undisclosed problems this season in the dressing area.
This trade allows better depth coverage in Jason Akeson, as he was the key component in the seven player swap. He's had some NHL experience and is readily available for the big club versus a no call in on Cole Schneider or Eric O'Dell, which is really unfortunate. They both earned a look in my book, as well as many fans.
Cole Schneider was an unlikely candidate to return while leading the team with 42 points in his fourth full season donning a BSens uniform. And O'Dell is an established veteran that will be missed, as he recorded a team high 18 goals and 19 assists in 50 games.
Defenseman Mike Sdao and forward Alex Guptill (remember him?) will not be missed, as Guptill ended up being loaned to the Manchester Monarchs of the ECHL after spending 24 games with the Evansville IceMen. Sdao himself has been absent a large portion of the season on the IR with an undisclosed injury, only to return as a shell of his former self.
Initial opinions from a few fans in Rochester have claimed that Phil Varone had an attitude (that recently has been a trend in the AHL it seems, on most fronts) and Akeson turned into a bust for the Americans. While the same can't be said for Schneider with a career season and O'Dell, who was recently brought into the fold during the off-season last year. Time will only tell.
I followed Akeson throughout the years with the Phantoms and have always been a fan of him. Strong skater, quick in the corners while having good hockey sense in having a knack to produce points. Akeson stands a better chance of being called-up then both Schneider and O'Dell. Perhaps that was the trigger that made the trade come to fruition.
Plus there's that conditional draft pick if Schneider participates in three NHL games for Buffalo. I would love to see this happen as Cole never got a fair shake in his time with the Senators' organization, which is a shame.
We as fans can bicker back and forth on who got the better deal, but in the end it might end up being a wash between the two clubs centering around the Murray family. Which is really odd. Is this an significant upgrade? Time will only tell, but I do believe it will at some point down the road.