You have to feel for Ottawa Senators fans this offseason…
Rumors continue to swirl around superstar captain Erik Karlsson and his future with the club. Ditto for last season’s leading scorer Mark Stone who was awarded a one year deal in arbitration. He’ll hit the open market as a free agent next offseason. Sniper Mike Hoffman has already been traded after it was uncovered that Karlsson and his wife Melinda had a restraining order on Hoffman’s fiancee Monika Caryk. Oh… and starting goalie Craig Anderson has reportedly requested a trade. What a mess…
Somewhere in the laundry list of ‘to do’ items for Sens general manager Pierre Dorion in the next 10 months is deciding what to do with star forward Matt Duchene, as well. The 27 year old pending unrestricted free agent was acquired by Dorion and the Sens last season in a three way deal with the Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators. Dorion paid a hefty price to land Duchene, shipping out center Kyle Turris, goalie Andrew Hammond, first round selection Shane Bowers as well as a first and third round draft pick. Ouch. Here’s the kicker… the first round pick shipped to Colorado in the deal is this year’s, during a season in which the Sens are predicted to finish in the basement of the NHL’s standings. There’s a VERY good chance that the Sens lose out on a lottery selection because of the Duchene deal. To make matters worse, Duchene can walk away for nothing in free agency just a week after the draft. Double ouch.
With so much at stake, it’s vitally important that Dorion either re-signs or gets good trade value out of impending free agents like Karlsson, Stone and Duchene. NHL.com columnist Dan Rosen addressed the Duchene situation specifically in a recent mailbag segment, saying that ultimately he doesn’t expect Duchene to be traded.
Check it out:
I don’t think Duchene’s status with Ottawa is off the radar for Senators fans. They know he has one year left on his contract and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2019. They know what it took to get him in that three-team trade with the Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators on Nov. 5, and they know that the cost still could increase. The Senators still must give the Avalanche their first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft as part of the trade that also sent center Kyle Turris to the Predators and goalie Andrew Hammond, forward Shane Bowers and a third-round pick in the 2019 draft to the Avalanche. They could have given Colorado their first-round pick this year, but they kept it and selected forward Brady Tkachuk at No. 4. Next year, the first-round pick going to Colorado isn’t lottery protected, meaning potentially it could be the No. 1 pick. That’s a huge reason why I doubt Duchene is going anywhere soon. There is simply no way the Senators will be able to get back the value they gave up to get Duchene if they trade him now.
In the end, it looks like Dorion and the Sens will be forced to get back whatever they can for Duchene or risk losing him, plus all the assets used to acquire him for nothing…
If you think this offseason was hard on Sens fans, just imagine how much harder next offseason could be… Triple ouch.
Source: Dan Rosen
Photo Credit: Zuma Press