The Ottawa Senators have been in the market for a top-six forward for much of the season and that need has only grown with the recent news that Bobby Ryan would be on the shelf for three to six weeks due. Ryan, with just 24 points in 50 games, hasn’t been as effective this season as in years past but still brings the track record of a proven scoring forward. However, despite the team’s need, Senators GM Pierre Dorion is not willing to give up too much in any deal, as Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun writes.
As the scribe notes, the Senators are one of several clubs that have been linked to Colorado center Matt Duchene at various times this season but the asking price, a young NHL defenseman, a prospect and a first-round pick, is too rich for Dorion’s blood. Cody Ceci, Thomas Chabot and Colin White, players Colorado would certainly demand as part of a package in any trade talks, are considered off limits according to Garrioch. That leaves Ottawa shopping in the second tier rental market in all likelihood, with Garrioch suggesting the team has or may have interest in pending free agents Jiri Hudler, Thomas Vanek and/or Drew Stafford. While those names may not be particularly awe-inspiring to Sens fans, as long as Dorion chooses to hoard the team’s best young assets then that’s more than likely the best they can do ahead of the trade deadline.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic Division:
- There has been no shortage of teams with reported interest in St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, the top offensive defenseman believed to be on the trade market. Every year contenders burn up the phone lines looking for quality blue line depth ahead of the deadline to bolster their chances of making a deep postseason run. Of course only one team will end up with Shattenkirk, which will leave plenty of disappointed teams looking for alternatives. One option for some of those clubs may well be Cody Franson, according to Bill Hoppe in a piece on Buffalo Hockey Beat. Earlier in his career, the right-shot blue liner was a solid point producer capable of playing in all situations. Since signing with the Sabres ahead of the 2015-16 campaign, the 29-year-old’s offensive game has regressed with Franson posting just 16 points in 53 games this season. However, given the high demand for defensemen capable of playing the right side, it’s likely the Sabres could flip Franson for a solid return to one of the teams either unwilling or unable to meet the high price tag the Blues have set for Shattenkirk.
- Since Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau returned from injury nine games ago, the Florida Panthers more closely resemble a viable playoff contender even if they’ve actually drawn no closer to a postseason spot. The recent surge has possibly shifted GM Dale Tallon’s deadline position from potential seller to potential buyer. In the event they go the latter route, the Panthers could be in the market for a depth winger, as Tallon tells TSN’s Frank Seravalli in a recent interview. The longtime NHL executive tells Seravalli that he feels the team is “strong up the middle,” and that “either wing some place would work.” He also says that while the team has a couple of talented young wingers in the system, he doesn’t feel that “they’re ready to take the next step yet.” Tallon was extremely aggressive at last year’s trade deadline, adding forwards Teddy Purcell and Jiri Hudler to improve the club’s scoring depth. With plenty of veteran wingers reportedly available, there’s little reason to believe he won’t be just as aggressive this year, assuming he can find a deal or two to his liking.