A 5-point plan for fixing what’s wrong with the Ottawa Senators

Steve Dangle and Adam Wylde join Good Show to discuss how the Maple Leafs can and will solve their defensive liabilities this offseason, but is it through free agency or via trade route?

Each day, it seems like it can’t get any worse for the Ottawa Senators. And then each day, it does.

Everyone, myself included, keeps saying: “The Sens are so screwed.” For Pierre Dorion and the Ottawa Senators however, that isn’t an option. You can’t just quit. You have to actually try and fix this thing.

So here are some ideas, even little ones, that could help the Ottawa Senators.

Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman talk to a lot of people around the hockey world, and then they tell listeners all about what they’ve heard and what they think about it.

1. TRADE DOWN

No, no… not the fourth overall pick. You see, the Sens have the No. 4 pick today and also the 22nd pick thanks to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Unfortunately, what they don’t have is a second or third round pick. You could keep both No. 4 and No. 22 overall, but evidence shows that the later you get into the first round, the gap in talent between first-round players and third-round players gets smaller and smaller. Why not see if you can trade No. 22 for something like two second-rounders?

Maybe a second and a third? Maybe a second, third, and later round pick?

You still get high-end talent with the fourth overall pick and give yourself more kicks at the can by trading down from 22.

You could also get really risky and trade down from No. 4. That’s a huge gamble, but teams have made out like bandits doing it in the past. Ten years ago, the Islanders traded down from fifth, to seventh, to ninth. The teams in front of them picked Luke Schenn, Nikita Filatov, Colin Wilson, and Mikkel Boedker (who’s a Sen now, by the way), while the Islanders snagged Josh Bailey at nine. Win.

You could just stay the course, but without a second or third. It’s worth considering.

2. HAVE A GOOD GOALIE

One of the growing rumours of the day is the Sens are shopping Craig Anderson. Unless they completely pull a rabbit out of their hat, I don’t understand this one at all.

As of right now, the Sens are keeping the fourth overall pick this year, which means they have to surrender their first-rounder to the Colorado Avalanche next year. If the Sens stink, and oh they might, the odds of that pick being in the top four or five is a little too high for comfort.

So why on earth then, would you want to trade your starting goalie? Are you trying to suck? Because that’s how you suck.

Granted, Anderson was awful in 2017-18 with an abysmal .898 save percentage in 58 games. His previous three seasons however were mostly above average, including the .926 SV% he had in 2016-17, which feels like 40 years ago.

Anderson also has a partial no-move clause, which is no fun and could reduce his value a bit.

Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson. (Adrian Wyld/CP)

There’s an argument to be made for trading Anderson. After all, he’s 37-years-old with two years at $4.75 million remaining. But if you get rid of him, and don’t replace him with another decent goalie, and Mike Condon doesn’t play the best hockey of his life, you’ll be making Joe Sakic a very happy man.

3. SURRENDER THIS YEAR’S PICK

This is a tough one. Take it from a Leafs fan who actually has sympathy for Sens fans: Having the 2019 first-rounder hanging over your head all year is gonna suck. In 2009-10, Leafs fans couldn’t even cheer for a tank because Boston had the Leafs’ first pick. Of course, the pick ends up being second overall. Of course, it’s Tyler Seguin. Of course, he torched the Leafs pretty much every time he played them. Of course, Phil Kessel was constantly compared to him. Do you want that for Matt Duchene? Maybe worse, if you pick fourth this year and surrender the first pick next year, those two picks are going to be compared forever, too. Then again, it might already be too late for that.

Look, this fanbase seems miserable, and for good reason. You have another first-rounder this year. Bite the bullet, surrender the pick, then go full tank. “But then fans won’t come to our games!” Shut up. Your fans aren’t stupid. This season’s probably gonna suck regardless. Commit to the rebuild, sell them on hope, and regain their trust.

4. SIGN MERCENARIES

In the same way that Vegas became the land of misfit toys, a team full of Tommy Try-Hards, Dorion needs to put on a masterclass of signing under-utilized, under-appreciated, hungry free agents. Try to go for one year deals, that way it’s a prove-it contract year for them, and if you want, trade them at the deadline. Pay them a little too much money if you have to. If you keep this year’s pick, you can’t finish last. If you surrender the pick, you’ll want guys who can bring you future assets anyway.

5. DUDE…

Call Peter Chiarelli and say “Cody Ceci” into the phone until he either hangs up or agrees to a trade. The worst he can do is hang up.

What about Erik Karlsson? What about Mark Stone? Those are the big fish to fry and that’s up to those two, Pierre Dorion, and Eugene Melnyk.

Until you figure that out, you need to try to right this ship yourself.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.