Although the Senators find themselves well out of the playoff picture at the moment, should they be hesitant to truly sell off the roster? Jared Clinton of The Hockey News makes a case for GM Pierre Dorion to be wary of entering a true rebuilding process.
It all stems around defenseman Erik Karlsson. It has been well-documented that he will become an unrestricted free agent following the 2018-19 season and that it is going to cost considerably more than the $6.5MM cap charge he currently carries. If they decide to opt for future assets in the form of prospects and draft picks, ones that won’t be ready to contribute to Ottawa’s lineup when he hits free agency, that could potentially sway him away from re-signing. Accordingly, Clinton suggests that Dorion look more for younger players that have already established themselves or could break out with more playing time. Those would represent retooling moves instead of rebuilding which could make staying with the Senators long-term a more appealing option for Karlsson.
More from the Atlantic:
- Still with Ottawa, defenseman Mark Borowiecki has received the green light to return to full-contact practice, notes Postmedia’s Ken Warren. He has missed the last 19 games due to a concussion with the Senators winning just four of those. The 28-year-old is targeting either January 9th (versus Chicago) or January 10th (against Toronto) as a return date.
- Tampa Bay is likely to pursue a top-four defenseman who can play the right side between now and the trade deadline, reports Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription required). While Jake Dotchin has fared relatively well alongside Victor Hedman, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman will probably want someone that is a bit more proven in that role once the playoffs are underway. However, that is a common need for a lot of teams (LeBrun adds division-rival Toronto is another team looking for help there) so it will be interesting to see if they can find the right fit. Given their group of quality prospects that they could deal from, they could have a leg up on some of those other teams.