Following a convincing 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins last night – the same team they knocked out in the playoffs last season yet trail by 15 points in 2017-18 – the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch writes that GM Pierre Dorion is ready to make some changes. It has been well reported to this point that the Senator’s struggles this season are real and, with the franchise’s future offering more questions than answers, there is a possibility of a fire sale and rebuild in the near future.
While earlier reports indicated that all-world defenseman Erik Karlsson may even be up for grabs, Garrioch says that Dorion has changed his tune, with the word being that Karlsson and young winger Mark Stone are the only untouchables on the Senators roster. Logic would dictate that promising rookies Thomas Chabot and Filip Chlapik are likely on that list as well, but the entire remainder of the roster could be up for grabs at the right price.
The shortlist offered up by Garrioch of the top trade bait includes winger Mike Hoffman, centers Derick Brassard and Jean-Gabriel Pageau and young defenseman Cody Ceci. While they might be harder to move, the team would surely like to get rid of Bobby Ryan and Dion Phaneuf as well. Of that group, the most intriguing name is definitely Hoffman, who by every metric is a top six scoring winger and would be of major interest to many teams across the league. While he may net the Senators a strong return, Hoffman is signed through 2020 at a reasonable $5.2MM and may be a player that Ottawa would regret moving on from.
Changes are coming to Ottawa. It could be a major trade tomorrow or it could be a series of smaller moves up until the Trade Deadline or perhaps even this off-season. However, Dorion is ready to make moves now and, with few pure sellers at this point in the season, the Senators will be a team to watch for the remainder of the 2017-18 campaign.