The Ottawa Senators have completed their scouting meeting in Florida recently and many now are waiting on what general manager Pierre Dorion intends to do with less than two months before the trade deadline. The team has three critical unrestricted free agents on their team in Mark Stone, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel and it’s been made clear that the team can’t afford to lose any of them for nothing.
According to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, the rumor is that Ottawa intends to attempt to re-sign both Stone and Duchene, but the team is ready to listen to offers for Dzingel. The 26-year-old winger has improved every year with Ottawa and could net the team a solid return as has two key qualities in his speed and ability to score in front of the net. Dzingel, who is coming off a 23-goal season last season, already has 17 goals in 32 games this season and looks to be heading for a new career-high in goals as well as points. The downside to Dzingel is that he can disappear for long stretches of time and sometimes avoids going to the net.
Of course, even though Ottawa is ready to negotiate with both Stone and Duchene, that doesn’t mean the team will be able to work out a deal with either one of them. If that’s the case, the Senators might be forced to trade more than just Dzingel. The belief is the team is now ready with all scenarios if they are forced to trade one, two or all three of those players at the trade deadline.
- It looks like Tuukka Rask was earned back his starting job for the Boston Bruins, according to The Athletic’s Joe McDonald (subscription required). The veteran goaltender lost playing time to backup Jaroslav Halak this season, but with Rask on a four-game winning streak along with a 1.23 GAA and a .959 save percentage, it looks like he’s taken back his job. “There’s one net and Tuukka’s playing very well now and we’re trying to get him as many starts, so obviously that’s going to limit Jaro’s activity,” explained head coach Bruce Cassidy after Thursday’s loss. “When he’s in there he’s got to basically outplay (Rask) and that’s been the mantra with a lot of players in our group and that’s where (Halak’s) at now if he wants to get more starts.”
- While rating the players on the Toronto Maple Leafs roster, The Athletic’s Ian Tulloch (subscription required) writes that Patrick Marleau has fallen short of expectations this season. He writes the biggest problem with Marleau is fans’ expectations for the veteran forward, who is coming off a season where he scored 27 goals last year. However, if you factor in the five empty net goals, his season wasn’t nearly as impressive. Add in the fact that Marleau is 39 years old now, no one should be surprised that the winger has undergone a decline. His 10 goals and 43 games suggest he may not even reach 20 goals for the first time since the 2014-15 season.