“We’re open for business,” said General Manager of the Ottawa Senators Bryan Murray. The Ottawa Senators have a few assets that could be movable by the March 2nd NHL trade deadline. The Senators currently sit at 11th in the Eastern Conference, sitting seven points behind the struggling Boston Bruins who currently hold the final wild card spot. After winning three games in a row against three playoff contenders, the Senators are proving that they can possibly make it to the playoffs despite their poor first half of the season. The goaltending and offense has been the catalyst of the team’s success, but the defensive play has been lackluster. Here are some moves that the Senators can make by the trade deadline:
Goaltender Andrew Hammond currently has a .968 save percentage in three consecutive starts, stopping a total of 91 of 94 shots against Anaheim, Montreal, and Florida. His performance could be a fluke, but trading either Robyn Lehner or Craig Anderson could be possible options with the goaltending surplus that the Senators currently have. Craig Anderson has had his bad luck with injuries, but has shown signs of solid play. In 31 games he has 13 wins and 11 losses with a save percentage of .927. Robyn Lehner has played 25 games, with 9 wins and 12 losses with a.905 save percentage.
The two goaltenders could be valuable goaltenders for teams such as Arizona, Buffalo, or Dallas, who currently have inconsistent goaltending performances. Trading Lehner or Anderson could be questionable, but could return a valuable player to the Senators.
The Senators should look for a left defenseman to strengthen the defensive core. The Philadelphia Flyers currently have a situation where they need to make a move to make cap space for the return of defenseman Kimmo Timonen. The Senators could explore the possibility of acquiring veteran-defenseman Nicklas Grossmann. Grossmann, aged 30 is known for his gritty defensive play who has 9 points in 52 games with a +4 differential this season. The defensive defenseman could be paired with right defensemen Cody Ceci or Eric Gryba.
Acquiring a defenseman could mean that the Senators could pay a steep price, depending on the player (such as Keith Yandle of the Phoenix Coyotes). If the trade includes a goaltender such as Anderson or Lehner being shipped off, the Senators’ return could be quite the hallmark.