I said back in September that this is not a rebuild, it’s a fire sale. A liquidation.
The Ottawa Senators haven’t shown much interest in hanging on to their star talent for as long as I can remember. We’ve seen the likes of Alfredsson, Spezza, Turris, and Karlsson come and go, and with the Sens safely tucked away in last place with no first-round pick, you bet your sweet aunt Petunia that more moves are coming.
Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, and Ryan Dzingel are all free agents at the end of the season. This fact is well-known, but what isn’t is who will still be in the nation’s capital when the dust settles, if anyone.
TSN’s Darren Dreger said “If your focus is on Duchene and it’s on Mark Stone, where it should be, then trade this guy... because there will be a strong market in the weeks ahead for Ryan Dzingel”.
As much as it hurts my skin to say it, I’m inclined to agree.
Dzingel is a really solid winger, but he’s nowhere near as valuable as Mark Stone and Matt Duchene. Stone is an elite two-way forward, who’s as stellar in his end of the rink as he is in the other teams’. Beyond that, he’s going to be made the captain of the Ottawa Senators upon a contract extension, and is leadership the Senators can’t afford to lose.
Duchene is a potent offensive threat, a notion that was evidenced during his stint on the IR. The Senators are averaging 3.16 goals per game this se, and in the six games Matt Duchene missed, they averaged only 2.
Yes. You read that right. The Senators are likely to score one entire goal less when Matt Duchene is not in the lineup.
I shudder to think what would happen were either of those guys lost in the coming weeks.
As good as Dzingel is, he just doesn’t compare. He’s almost 27, and is unlikely to improve much more than he has after this breakout season.
That’s not to say he isn’t valuable. With 31 points in 41 games, Dzingel is on pace to smash all of his career highs.
He brings playoff experience to the table, too, having been all the way to Game 7 of an Eastern Conference Final (sorry). This is something teams value a lot going into the meat grinder that is the NHL playoffs, especially younger squads looking to make their first real run at the Cup (see, the Calgary Flames).
He also comes through in clutch situations, evidenced by this goal that we often forget.
The Senators won’t have a better time to trade Ryan Dzingel. He’s making only $1.8M this year, and is due for a big payday after the season he’s having. The cap hit makes him an attractive option as a rental for teams looking to maximize their firepower going into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Or, if they’re interested in retaining his services long-term, they get a good look at what he’s made of before July 1st.
From Ottawa’s side of things, it doesn’t make sense to hang on to Dzingel. As much as I love him as a player, the team is really hurting on defence. They’re dead last in every major defensive category, and those aren’t areas that he’s equipped to help. For perspective’s sake, Mark Stone has a 52.98 CF%, Brady Tkachuk has a 52.09% rating, and Dzingel is sitting at 43.36%.
The Sens aren’t short on scoring prowess either. The current lineup may not reflect that fact, but Ottawa is going to have a lot of firepower in the next few years. Drake Batherson, Alex Formenton, Rudolfs Balcers, Filip Chlapik, Josh Norris, and Logan Brown are just some of the names that figure to be NHL mainstays in the not-to-distant future, and will be younger with more upside than Ryan Dzingel.
If Ottawa could trade him for picks, or a solid two-way prospect, it would be more beneficial to them long-term.
Now, do I want to see Ryan Dzingel traded?
Hell no. He’s a great offensive player, and is a lot of fun to watch.
But with all this in mind, and given the state of Ottawa’s front office, it seems like the smart thing to do. I’d definitely rather them sell off Dzingel than Duchene or Stone.
So if he is, in fact, being moved, where could Ryan Dzingel end up?
I’m glad you asked.
I can’t see Ottawa wanting to move him within the conference, much less the division. If they have any ability to evaluate pro-level talent, I doubt they’ll want to play against Dzingel more than a couple times a year. Expect GMPD to send him to the Western Conference, while probably adding some sort of stipulation against him being flipped back east (à la Hoffman).
Who would be a candidate for such a trade?
Like I said before, the Calgary Flames could definitely be interested. They’re up against the cap, but Dzingel’s relatively cheap contract, with Michael Stone being on IR can make it work from a cap perspective. The Flames are third overall in goals per game, with 3.57, and the idea of adding Ryan Dzingel to an already stellar offensive unit could be the thing that puts them over the top.
Another possible destination could be Nashville. While the Predators are sitting just three points out of first in the West, they’re simply not scoring as much as their counterparts. They’re averaging around half a goal per game less than the Flames, Sharks, Jets, and Avalanche, and a boost of scoring on the wing could be just what the doctor ordered. Though with contract extensions forthcoming to Kevin Fiala and Ryan Hartman, Dzingel may be figure to be more of a rental.
As you can probably figure, this is all just speculation. It’s entirely possible that Ryan Dzingel will be in Ottawa next season, or that all three of Ottawa’s elite upcoming FA’s will be wearing different uniforms soon.
Maybe Pierre Dorion will deal Ryan Dzingel to the Leafs, and they’ll somehow be able to pay him, Matthews, Marner, and Nylander.
Maybe he’ll get traded to San Jose for a punch in the throat.
Maybe I’ll finally come to my senses and stop cheering for a team that causes me more pain and heartbreak than the final season of Sons of Anarchy.
Either way, be sure to let us know what you think down below.
You can only keep two, who are you keeping?
This poll is closed
Duchene and Stone
Duchene and Dzingel
Dzingel and Stone
Trade them all, burn it down and start over