There are NHL trade rumors for a number of players going on, but the Ottawa Senators have other teams interested in several of their players. The most interest so far has been with regards to their forwards, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mike Hoffman, and Zack Smith. However, there has also been a bit of interest with regards to acquiring two of the Senators’ defensemen. Here are the latest details on which players could be on the move for Ottawa prior to February’s NHL trade deadline.
On Thursday, Pro Hockey Rumors indicated that the Senators are getting calls to make a possible deal for Dion Phaneuf. However, most NHL teams are looking at Phaneuf as more of a “fallback option” if they’re unable to make a bigger acquisition ahead of the deadline. Phaneuf has three goals and 10 assists so far this season after playing in 41 games. In addition, Cody Ceci is also receiving interest from a few teams around the league, as reported earlier today by the Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch. Ceci is a restricted free agent, making $3.5 million this season, and who is averaging 23 minutes on the ice. He has tallied nine points in his 42 games this season.
Senators General Manager Pierre Dorion has indicated they’re in no rush to make deals just yet, though.
“Six weeks away from the trade deadline, we can still be patient, and we will be. There’s not going to be any rash, impulsive decisions made.
“We’re just going to stay the course and we need 57 points to make the playoffs and we’ve got 40 games left. We’re the one team that has played the least amount of hockey and we’ve got a lot of hockey left in front of us.”
It’s been said that Phaneuf’s numbers have been down this season, which could be part of why teams are viewing him as a “fallback” if they can’t acquire someone else. That said, his ability to provide a team a “top four” defender still exists. He’s currently got three years to go on his existing contract, and as Pro Hockey Rumors mentioned, a “cap hit of $7MM” which could mean the Senators need to take on a few bad contracts to make a deal happen. Adding to the situation is the fact that Phaneuf has his own list of potential teams he’d play for, which consists of a dozen NHL squads right now.
It seems patience is the name of the game for Ottawa, as they have so much interest in a number of their roster members. Erik Karlsson is the biggest name still on the rumor mill. While Dorion has been positive on the remaining season’s outlook, some NHL trades may be necessary for a team that is currently among the worst in the league. Despite the optimistic comments of the Senators’ GM, Ottawa is just 15-18-9 in the standings and per ESPN‘s latest power rankings, are listed at No. 29 in the 31-team league.