The Ottawa Senators have made the best kind of in-season roster addition, the kind that doesn’t cost them anything. After trading away substantial resources for Matt Duchene, it would have been easy to assume that the Sens would stand pat for the remainder of the season. However, that is not the case, as Ottawa has announced that they have claimed forward Gabriel Dumont off of waivers.
Dumont, 27, has been a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the past year plus, after leaving the Montreal Canadiens to sign with Tampa in 2016. While it may not look like much, Dumont’s 39 games, two goals, and four points last season were all career highs, as the undersized forward carved out a role for himself as an energy liner and reliable AHL depth. Before coming to Tampa, Dumont was a high-scoring AHLer for the Canadiens, but has settled into a more gritty, two-way role that better serves his NHL pursuits. In seven games so far in 2017-18, Dumont has been held scoreless, but is averaging over ten minutes of ice time per night for the first time in his NHL career.
Yet, Dumont has cleared waivers multiple times since signing with the Bolts. Why now have the Senators claimed him? It may have less to do with Dumont’s talent and more to do with Ottawa’s lack of talent. Dealing with many different injuries this season, at times the Senators lineup has featured a majority of players best suited for their minor league affiliate in Belleville. Rather than continue to depend on the likes of Nick Paul, Chris DiDomenico, Jack Rodewald, Max McCormick and even defenseman Ben Harpur at forward, Dumont brings some experience and fourth-line reliability that the Senators could really use.