Ottawa Senators: 21-32-9, 51 pts, 15th in East, 5th in Northeast
Status: Active Sellers
The firesale has already begun in Ottawa, and it was no surprise to anyone around the league when it began. Ownership gave management the directive to begin clearing house and salary for a rebuild when injuries debilitated an already-underachieving roster midway through the season. Chris Kelly, Alexei Kovalev, Jarkko Ruutu, Mike Fisher and Brian Elliott have already been sent packing, garnering the Senators first, second, third and sixth round picks, as well as a conditional seventh rounder.
Clearly, the rebuild is in full swing, and the Senators are obviously looking to the future. There are still a few pieces of value that could be moved in exchange for prospects or picks, the most notable of which is defenseman Chris Phillips. Drafted by the Sens in the ‘90s, Phillips has played his entire career with the organization, and has expressed his desire to remain with the club to help with the rebuild. However, what may be more helpful to his club Is if he allows himself to be traded as a rental player, and then re-sign with the club in the offseason if he truly wants to help his team. >
As one of the few shutdown defensemen still available on the market, Phillips would certainly fetch an attractive package, but he’s not the only piece the Sens might move. Defensemen Chris Campoli and Filip Kuba both have decent puck-moving skills, traits that any playoff team can never have too much of. If Sergei Gonchar weren’t signed to such a monstrous deal, I would say he would be on the way out as well, but given the fact that he’s had a rough season as it is, I don’t know how many takers there would be for a 36 year old defenseman with a $5.5 million cap hit for the next two seasons.
The door is certainly open for business in Ottawa, and the Senators will likely hear offers from more than a few teams before tomorrow’s trade deadline.