The Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes are tweaking their depth charts with the season just around the corner, swapping Max Lajoie and Clark Bishop in a minor deal. Bishop cleared waivers a few days ago and Lajoie just yesterday, meaning both can report directly to the taxi squad or minor league affiliate of their new organization (though, because of quarantine restrictions that may take some time). In fact, Ottawa includes in the release that Bishop will be assigned to Belleville.
Lajoie, 23, was a fifth-round pick of the Senators back in 2016 but surprised everyone when he made the NHL roster out of camp just two years later. He would play 56 games for the team in the 2018-19 season, recording seven goals and 15 points while averaging nearly 19 minutes a night. The Senators would finish last in the entire league that year and Lajoie would find himself pushed down the depth chart again in 2019-20. He ended up playing just six NHL games last season, spending most of the year with Belleville instead.
In Carolina, he’ll have an even tougher group to crack if he wants to get back to the NHL. The young defenseman is likely ticketed for the Chicago Wolves where he will continue his development and try to make the best of the final year on his entry-level contract.
Bishop meanwhile comes to Ottawa as another forward option after playing 25 NHL games over the past two seasons. The depth center can be some injury insurance in Belleville but doesn’t offer a ton of offensive upside. Selected in the fifth round by the Hurricanes in 2014, Bishop has just 18 goals and 59 points in 201 regular season AHL games but did help capture the Calder Cup in 2019 with the Charlotte Checkers.