Well, here we are again.
A little over two years after the Ottawa Senators traded Ryan Dzingel to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a massive haul, they are once again in the position of trying to figure out what to do with the Wheaton, Illinois native.
Re-acquired by the Senators from the Carolina Hurricanes on February 13th, in exchange for forwards Cedric Paquette and Alex Galchenyuk, Dzingel has posted six goals and three assists for nine points in 25 games with Ottawa. He’s fit in nicely in a bottom-six capacity, playing some responsible hockey, and chipping in with secondary scoring.
The 29-year-old’s performance has begged the question of what should be done with him going forward. Dzingel is an unrestricted free agent upon the conclusion of this season, and given what will likely be his relatively low dollar value on the open market, it would make some financial sense for the Senators to bring him back, at least for the short term.
In terms of bottom-six forward options, Pierre Dorion and Co. could do a lot worse than Dzingel. While something of a low-event opportunistic scorer, he’s been much better defensively than he has in previous years, making him an ideal veteran player in the bottom-six. The Senators have struggled to find effective veterans to fill the bottom of their lineup, and Dzingel has proven himself capable of playing that role.
It’s also a fair assumption that Dzingel likes playing in Ottawa — given that the best years of his career have been spent in the capital — so perhaps any interest would be mutual.
Then again, the situation isn’t so cut and dry. As well as Dzingel has performed, the Senators do need to continue to make way for their youth. Brady Tkachuk and Nick Paul are locks to be on the left side of Ottawa’s forward core next year, and assuming Tim Stützle hasn’t moved to centre, the same can be said of him. This would leave only one space for Dzingel, and Alex Formenton, and given the way in which the latter has established himself as a full-time NHLer, that’s an easy choice for Ottawa to make.
Austin Watson will also likely be back next season, already putting the squeeze on youngsters like Formenton, Vitaly Abramov, and Egor Sokolov. As well as Dzingel has played, there may simply not be room for him.
With all that being said, I put this week’s question up to you, loyal readers: what should the Ottawa Senators do with Ryan Dzingel?
What Should the Ottawa Senators Do with Ryan Dzingel?
This poll is closed
Let him walk
Depends on the roster (specify in comments)