Welcome back for the second installment in this year’s Ottawa Senators Sterling Predictions feature. In yesterday’s kick-off piece, the staff did their best to guess at who will lead the team in scoring. Today, we look forward to one of the pivotal moments of any NHL campaign: the trade deadline.
In recent years, the assumption at the start of the season has always been that the Sens would be looking to off-load veterans at the trade deadline for picks or prospects since they would be long out of the play-off race. This year, the situation could be very different. This question is a two-parter: 1) Will the Sens be buyers or sellers at the deadline? and 2) What type of player will they be looking to add (or sell)?
Spencer: Whether they should be or not, Dorion isn’t going to follow up this summer by being a seller — no matter what happens the first few months of the season. They’ll be buyers, and I’ll wager that they finally add the “top 4 D” they’ve been talking about at the deadline. Welcome to Ottawa, Jakob Chychrun!
Trevor: They’ll be slight buyers at the deadline, since I can’t imagine them selling off anyone unless truly exceptional circumstances arise. I don’t know if Chychrun will be on the way to Ottawa, but they’ll acquire at least one defenseman to play in the top-4 as that is clearly their biggest area of need.
Beata: They’ll be buyers, and they’ll be looking for a defenseman. However, they won’t make any big splashes, because with the playoffs not a guaranteed prospect thanks to a tight race, their 2023 first round pick won’t be on the table.
Shaan: With things as they stand now, it’s entirely possible the Sens will be looking to add at the deadline and my guess is that Pierre delivers against that objective. No need to sell the farm on Chychrun, as Chabot and Sanderson already have things covered on the left side. Scott Mayfield would be the ideal RD target if the Islanders’ aging core, depth- everything, really, sink them.
Ross: They will be buyers, but it will be like 2017 in that they’ll be looking for periphery pieces. Think someone like Kyle Okposo or Paul Byron, to provide veteran leadership.
Nada: They will definitely be buyers but what kind depends on if the Sens can “fix” the defense in the early part of the year. If they do, I can imagine them going after a veteran rental or two; the playoff-seasoned power forward or additional defender for insurance. I strongly doubt they bring in any big names at the deadline unless there is a stud defense for the taking, which is rare.
Owen: To echo what other have said, I see Ottawa as “soft” buyers. They’ll tinker around the edges and maybe trying to jettison some unnecessary pieces along the way.
Ary: I’m with Shaan on this one: if the team does make a move, I’d expect it might be for some defensive depth and to trial an option for next season when Hamonic and Holden are off the roster next season.
nkb: If the Sens are so far out of the play-off race by the trade deadline that they are in the position of being sellers then something will have gone terribly, terribly wrong. Like most of the other writers, I also believe the Sens will be in the thick of the play-off race but by no means guaranteed a spot. There will be a lot of pressure to add another veteran leader — likely a forward to play a more rugged style of game than say Derick Brassard can provide on the fourth line — and Dorion will pull the trigger on a minor deal or two.