The Ottawa Senators have recalled Dillon Heatherington from the AHL’s Belleville Senators, per a team announcement. According to Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch, this recall was made so that Heatherington could make the trip with the Senators to Boston for Monday’s game, adding a seventh defenseman to Ottawa’s roster.
It seems that beyond just this recall, even more Senators’ roster moves could be on the horizon. Garrioch adds that Motte will sit for Ottawa’s game today against the St. Louis Blues for trade-related reasons. While no deal has been completed yet, Garrioch notes that it’s being worked on.
As for the officially-announced transaction, the 27-year-old Heatherington now has a chance to return to the Senators’ lineup for the first time since late December, when he got into three games for head coach D.J. Smith’s team. In those three games, Heatherington averaged a shade over nine minutes of ice time per game, almost entirely at even strength. In total, the 2013 second-round pick has 23 games of NHL experience on his resume.
At the AHL level, Heatherington is more of a difference-maker. He currently serves as the captain of AHL Belleville and plays a top-pairing role for the team. While he isn’t a major offensive contributor (he has eight points in 39 games this season) he’s a valued leader, an AHL veteran with Calder Cup championship experience, and a capable defensive defenseman. He should be able to adequately fill a depth role for the Senators with this recall.
As for Motte, a deadline-season deal would mark his second mid-season trade in as many years. He was dealt to the New York Rangers last season and helped them on their run to the Eastern Conference Final. Motte is an energetic bottom-six forward who doesn’t provide a ton on the offensive end but is a respected penalty killer.
With an expiring $1.35MM cap hit, it’s easy to see why a contending team would want to pull the trigger relatively early on a deal to acquire Motte, assuming the price is within reason. Last year, the Rangers paid a fourth-round pick to the Vancouver Canucks in order to acquire Motte, although the New York Post’s Larry Brooks tweets that “the asking price is significantly higher” than it was last season to acquire Motte this year.