Five Thoughts for Friday: Trade Deadline Edition

Five thoughts for Friday, with our trade deadline edition. Will the Senators make another move or two?

Five Thoughts for Friday: Trade Deadline Edition
Photo by Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

The NHL trade deadline is today, and if you're reading this, the deadline itself might have passed already. Who knows what might become obsolete after posting this, but alas. Here are my five thoughts for this trade deadline edition:

A Whole Lot of "Meh"

We've had a few days to digest the Vladimir Tarasenko trade to the Florida Panthers, and for me, it's a whole lot of "meh." On the surface, it's a light return. Some fans were hoping for a 1st round pick, but that seemed a bit ambitious. I thought they'd be able to get at least a 2nd rounder plus perhaps an alright prospect or a 3rd rounder, but a 3rd and a 4th is not the best. However, you need to look at the context.

Tarasenko has a no-trade clause, and reports stated that he only wanted to go to the Panthers at the deadline, and Tarasenko himself confirmed that. If only one team is going to bid for him...I'm not sure how you can really extract that much from the Panthers when they could've easily just so "no thanks" and pivoted to another (potentially better) forward. Furthermore, his family has been in Florida all season, so it makes sense why he wanted to go there.

Is it a good deal? No. But does it make sense considering the circumstances? Yes. The outrage would've been justifiably much higher if they let him walk for nothing because he wasn't going to stay. He was an excellent pro in Ottawa and did well offensively, but I think they can use that $5M more effectively in their lineup. I'll take two free picks for the cost of less than $5M.

Give Staios Some Time

Steve Staios has been with the Senators since September, first as President of Hockey Operations, and now as POHO and General Manager. The Tarasenko trade was his first real move as POHO/GM (besides firing DJ Smith), and realistically there wasn't much he was going to be able to do from September-February anyway, as teams rarely want to deal early in the season. You can be upset with the Tarasenko return, but I've seen people calling for Staios' job already, which is mind-numbing.

He did not construct this roster, he inherited it. If the team is still in this position a year from now and he's made some clearly bad moves, then go ahead and criticize him. But let the man have an off-season first to see where he's taking this team. And even then, it takes a long time to put your mark on an organization. He shouldn't get nearly as long of a leash as Pierre Dorion did, but let's at least see what he can do before calling for his head.

Don't Force Anything

Like I said earlier, this could be obsolete already, but I'd be hesitant if I were Ottawa while looking at the trade market. It seems to be a buyer's market with players going for less than expected, and I see no reason to move someone like Jakob Chychrun right now if they aren't going to get fair value. If they ended up with a very low 1st rounder and an alright prospect, how does that even help them?

The same can be said for players like Erik Brännström, Josh Norris, and any other players who can be difference-makers. If you get offers on Dominik Kubalik (how?), Mark Kastelic, Jacob Bernard-Docker, and other depth players? Sure, grab a draft pick and acquire somebody new in the off-season. But I see no point in making a deal just to make a deal, which is seemingly what Staios thinks as well.

I'm incredibly interested to see what he does this summer because they could go in so many different directions.

Western Woes

I truly do not understand how, but the Senators are 0-12-1 on the road against Western Conference teams. 0-12-1!! So last night was the first time they even got a point on the road in the West. That is absolutely pathetic, it is the kind of stat that you would hear about the 1992-93 expansion Senators, not a team that had playoff aspirations this season. In fact, since inter-conference play began in 1993-94, the only other team to go winless in 12+ road games against the other conference was the 1996-97 New York Islanders who were 0-9-4.

I have no idea if there is any correlation here in terms of their lack of preparation while far away from home or what, but it's quite concerning. The Western Conference has quickly shifted to the dominant conference after years of dominance in the East, and if they're this bad in the toughest games, that doesn't exactly give me much confidence.

"Acceptable" Emotion

There has been a lot of discussion this year about Tim Stützle showing his frustration and how he needs to act more "professional" while the team (or him) is doing poorly. I get why people don't like it, you want your players to not accept poor play and just be better next time. However, it's such a double standard, because I'd say the second most visibly emotional player on the team is...Claude Giroux. The veteran leader of the team who has been there and seen it all, and is an ultimate pro.

Yet at the end of the game last night, he snapped his stick and threw his helmet on the bench. I have absolutely no problem with that and think it's good to show emotions (especially after six straight losses), but do you see anybody complaining about his reaction? Of course not. Some of that is because he's a veteran, and some is because he's Canadian, whereas Stützle is European. It's such a strange bias that we have as fans, and I just wish we held everyone to the same standards. For what it's worth, I like it when players get mad at losing, it shouldn't be accepted for this long.

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