The Ottawa Senators have long been looking more like sellers than buyers as we start to look ahead to this year’s trade deadline.
But not so fast—general manager Pierre Dorion’s phone is ringing, but he’s not ready to deal just yet. According to Sportsnet insider Chris Johnston, Dorion is prepared to practise a patient approach to this year’s deadline decisions.
“It sounds like there’s been a lot of calls coming in to the Ottawa Senators GM, but my understanding at this time is that he preferred to wait on making a move,” Johnston said on Saturday night. “He was down in Fort Lauderdale this week with his whole scouting staff, going through all kinds of things trying to figure out a little bit where things have gone wrong, identifying targets and pieces that they might be able to potentially target as this trade deadline gets closer.”
One season after making it all the way to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, Ottawa has struggled to string together many wins. The Senators, who won three of five games in 2018 before starting their bye week, currently sit in 29th place with their 15-18-9 record, and 10 points out of a wild card spot in the East.
They made a splash early in the season when they were part of November’s three-team blockbuster deal that saw Kyle Turris head to Nashville and Matt Duchene become a Senator, but it could be a while before anyone else is moved.
“They feel, with their team having won a few games and the deadline still six weeks or so away, that they can be patient and wait before flipping some assets,” Johnston said. “As we’ve talked about in weeks past, the likes of Mike Hoffman, Zack Smith, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, these types of players certainly have a lot of value to teams looking to add at the deadline.”
Hoffman has been the biggest trade target for teams looking to add some affordable scoring, with the Carolina Hurricanes and St. Louis Blues emerging as two possible landing spots.
This season’s NHL Trade Deadline is Feb. 26.