The Ottawa Senators are for sale.

No, not the organization just the roster. And man do they need help. It isn’t just the NHL roster that is lacking in depth, talent, and winning drive. Their AHL affiliate the Bellville Senators are near the bottom of that league as well. Without a first or second round pick this year, and a third round pick next year, this team can not afford to move players and not get solid returns.

Given the questionable ability of the organization to draft and develop players, a case can be made for the team to trade exclusively for roster players and prospects who would be in the NHL if it weren’t for their current rights holder having salary cap issues. I don’t know that this is a good idea, but with the number of NHL players on teams well outside the playoffs who might be able to help the organization going forward it isn’t an idea that can be dismissed entirely.

While everyone else is analyzing if the organization should move on from Erik Karlsson, and what they can get for him, I’ll stick to some of the players who have value as depth players, or to fill in for a top six/top four player who is expected to be out for an extended period.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau is a sneaky good depth forward. Last year he produced 19 goals in the regular season and then eight more in the Senator’s playoff appearance. He produces at even strength, and on the penalty kill. Any team needing either a 3rd center or first pairing penalty kill forward will get a good value. Value: 2nd round pick plus, likely a 2nd and a lesser pick or prospect.

Mark Borowiecki overshadowed by both Karlsson and Phanuef on this roster. His raw physicality will lead some to overlook his skating ability, a good comparison is Boston’s Kevan Miller. Value: This one is tricky, he’s got a team friendly contract, two more years on it, but is never going to be even a middling points producer. A 3rd or 4th round pick would seam fair but I could see him going for more.

Mike Hoffman. I think the Ottawa Senator’s organization would be fools to trade him, but he is undoubtedly a quality goal scorer able to produce his own offense in a system with limited assistance. He’s under contract for next season as well. Value: 1st round pick plus additional return.

Johnny Oduya: May end up as a throw in with a bigger name, might go somewhere looking for a veteran who has been there and done that. He’s not going to come in a play top pairing minutes, but veteran defensemen are valued above the purely on ice contribution, particularly ones who have been as far into the playoffs as he has. Value: will likely fetch a 2nd or a lesser prospect.

Mark Stone is quietly having a good season for the Senators, and will like getting a significant raise on July 1. With 18 goals already on a team that’s subpar and coached defense first, he’s going to generate some interest. Value: This will depend entirely on if he is just traded as a rental or if there is a signing involved in the move. A pair of second round picks say 2018 and 2020 would be a nice return.

Derick Brassard on the plus side has already matched last year’s goal total, on the minus side he’s not young any more and a $2,500,000 signing bonus just for living until bonus day might slow down the clamor the talents of the soon to be 31 year old Quebec native. Value: Roster player (either expiring contract or need for need) and a pick.

New York Islanders traded Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau for Yannick Riendeau and Marc Cantin of the Boston Bruins organization. Rolston is 39 with a shot that has concussed two different goalies. Mottau is a defenseman who won the Hobey Backer in 2000.Both have Massachusetts ties as Mottau is a Quincy native, and Rolston wore the spoked B for a couple years.

No Rick Nash trade as I suspected.

Most interesting trade of the day is Toronto Maple Leafs swiping Carter Ashton from the  Tampa Bay Lightning  for defenseman Keith Aulie. Aulie was part of the Phanuef deal and well regarded until the Toronto organization soured very quickly on him Carter Ashton was a or possibly the top offensive prospect of the Tampa Bay Lightning playing in the AHL.

The Chicago BlackHawks upgraded their defense by shipping out John Scott for a New York Rangers 5th round pick. They brought in Johnny Oduya from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a 2nd and 3rd round pick .

The Minnesota Wild have shipped off Greg Zanon to Boston for Steve Kampfer (@SteveKampfer47)  a younger defenseman with a good shot and good stride. Zanon is a UFA July 1, Kampfer has one more year left on his deal.

Buffalo Sabres also shipped out Paul Gaustad and a 4th round pick to the Nashville Predators for a 1st round pick. Very interesting. looks like the Predators are going for the biggest prize.

Zack Kassian of the Sabres also shipped to Vancouver for Cody Hodgson. (This one may be bigger, conflicting reports.)

 

 

Sources TSN, NHL.Com, Sportsnet Canada, and anyone retweeted on twitter.

 

The Rick Nash saga is heating up, and will likely not die out completely if he remains in Columbus until mid August with a slight lull during the playoffs, and a sharp spike after the Cup is raised.

But what is he worth? When Ilya Kovalchuk was traded he had one year left on his contract, had hit fifty goals twice, had three other 40 goal season, and was either the best or second best left wing in the NHL.  Rick Nash was the first overall pick in the draft a year after Kovalchuk, and has put up very good numbers playing at one time or another both center and wing, but not quite on Kovalchuk’s level. When the Thrashers traded Kovalchuk to the Devils, he went with Anssi Salmela, who can probably be described as a AAAA defenseman, and a second round pick. The Devils sent back, a 1st round pick a 2nd rounder, NHL defenseman Johnny Odouya, and some peripheral prospects.  Kovalchuk had one year left on his deal

Nash, has six full season left on his contract. This is both a gift and a curse. Teams wanting to mind their budget and long term projections on who they can afford to retain have cost certainty with the deal. What can’t be guaranteed is performance in relation to contract. He could play at or above the .81 points per game he’s maintained in his career if he’s healthy, and in a compatible system. Equally an injury, incompatible system or a coach with a bias could squash his productivity and leave a team with a Reddenesque deal on their hands.

So what type of return should the Blue Jackets get if they do indeed trade him? If they go just for picks and try and restock and build through the draft, it should be two first round picks for teams expected to finish in the bottom 15 or so, and probably at least one second round pick. If they want to build depth, and get useful special teams and leave offensive production primarily to Jeff Carter and whoever they draft in the lottery this year, they could pick up two or three players who could help their 21st ranked powerplay and their 30th ranked penalty kill. Arguably getting one first round pick and those three or four role players with a couple years left on the deals will make the team more competitive than one or two second tier stars would. If in the, highly unlikely, situation they opt for a simple superstar for superstar trade arguably Eric Staal is the perfect candidate. He was drafted 2nd in 2003, and was part of a cup run. While neither is exactly a raging extrovert, Staal has a bit more force to his play, and may just need a change of scenery.

Going purely off number Staal for Nash isn’t great upgrade, and Staal is justifiably paid more, but Staal has spent most of his time at center, and putting Yakupov or Forsberg on his line, while Carter, Umberger and Johansen form another line has certain appeals. Whatever they decide to do with if they do trade Nash, and can get what they are looking for, it has to help the team form an identity. I haven’t seen the team play with one in the past two seasons and it can’t stay in business without something to help build success and draw crowds. Additionally it’d be nice for someone outside the franchise to know who their All Stars are next season since they are hosting the event.