Potential trade partner: Ottawa Senators

derick brassard

What a difference a year makes. Seven months ago, the Ottawa Senators were in the Conference Final. Now they are out of the playoffs, and according to Bruce Garrioch, looking to retool their entire team. They were a flawed team last year that made a run, and instead of identifying true issues, made short term fixes, thinking they weren’t that far off.

Per Garrioch, the Sens want to make a trade before the holiday freeze, and he mentioned names like Derick Brassard, Mike Hoffman, and Ranger killer Jean-Gabriel Pageau. These are all big names, but how realistic is a trade for one of these guys?

Derick Brassard

Let’s start with Brassard, because I’m probably going to upset some people (sorry, Becky/Jess). Brassard fills an immediate need, plugging a hole at center. His acquisition would push Kevin Hayes down to the 3C role once Mika Zibanejad returns. He has great chemistry with Mats Zuccarello, and is a beloved Ranger. He would certainly check a lot of boxes.

But I likely lean towards passing on Brassard right now. It has nothing to do with Brassard the player. It has to do with another year on his contract (at $5 million). If the future of the club is truly some combination of Zibanejad, Hayes, Chytil, Andersson, and Nieves down the middle, then throwing Brassard in the mix might keep one of the 2017 first rounders out of the lineup.

Another concern: Brass is 30 years old now, and the Rangers would only be getting a year and a half of his services before he hits 32 years old. He likely would continue his steady production through the end of the contract, but it’s likely the Rangers cut bait after that. The good news is that given his contract, he might not cost a body off the roster, aside from some cap balancing.

Brassard, to me, is more of an emotional pickup, but he does check a lot of boxes that help the team this year. I am not opposed to landing him in the right deal. I think he’d be a great pickup for this year. It’s the following year that concerns me, although it is a good problem to have too many options.

I think I just talked myself into wanting Brassard. That said, Brassard appears to be one of the few that was not asked to submit his no-trade teams.

Mike Hoffman

Hoffman is the guy I’d want out of Ottawa. He may not fill the center hole this year, but he fills the winger hole created next year with the expiry of the Rick Nash and Michael Grabner contracts. The goals from both will need to be replaced, and Hoffman is the guy who can do that. He’s signed to a reasonable deal, with two years and $5.2 million (I’m rounding up) left after this season.

Hoffman hovers between 25-30 goals each year, and would likely see a boost with the offense-driven Rangers. He just turned 28 years old and is signed through his age-30 season, which is when you expect him to start declining. The Blueshirts would be getting two and a half years of 25-30 goals, with the two full years coming at a time when they need more scoring.

With Hoffman, the issue is going to be cost. He’s a prime name and will likely cost more than Brassard. He likely costs at least one roster player. Timing might also be an issue, as Hoffman may make more sense as an offseason acquisition, given the current makeup of the Rangers roster.

Jean-Gabrieal Pageau

Pageau’s name brings nightmares to our ears, the four-goal game last May still fresh in our minds. That said, Pageau is a relatively cheap center, with two years after this season remaining at $3.1 million. The 25-year-old center again fills a need this year, but beyond that his role would be uncertain.

Unlike Brassard, who would fill in as a 2C or 3C, depending on how Alain Vigneault wants to bring along the kids next year, Pageau is best suited as a 3C who can punch above his weight class in a pinch. Pageau has never cracked 20 goals or 45 points. He’s seen a decline in goals and points in each year since his breakout season two years ago. He’s on pace for just 35 points this season.

I honestly don’t like the idea of trading for Pageau, but his trade cost would be less than both Brassard and Hoffman. Plus he’s young. If you’re trading for him, he’s a Kevin Hayes replacement. Both are the same age, but Hayes is due a raise on his $2.6 million contract this summer. Pageau produces less than Hayes (Hayes has a pair of 45 point seasons), but has similar possession numbers.

I can see this making sense if the Rangers move Hayes in a larger deal, and then replace him with Pageau. That said, it wouldn’t make much sense to acquire a Hayes replacement with both Andersson and Chytil on the way. You can at least argue that Brassard would fill a top-six role to ensure the kids don’t get thrown to the wolves. That argument doesn’t exist for Pageau. He’s a hard pass for me.

Erik Karlsson

Oh boy, where to begin? Apparently Karlsson is on the block. He’s been asked to submit his no-trade teams, and he’s been vocal that he will “get what he’s worth” in a contract extension. Ottawa ownership was none too pleased with that remark. All signs point to a divorce in Ottawa.

Karlsson is a generational talent on the blue line. He would completely change how the blue line looks in New York. He would be an immediate upgrade on every single blue liner. At 27 years old, he has another year at $6.5 million on his deal before he likely cashes in on a long-term deal worth at least $8.5 million a season. The player cost to acquire him would be astronomical, as Chris pointed out on Twitter.

Expect any trade to begin with either Brady Skjei or Ryan McDonagh, plus a ton. My guess is that it would be McDonagh, just for salary cap purposes. One of Chris’ scenarios is Skjei and Zuccarello for Karlsson, and in all fairness the Rangers might need to add a piece.

Without breaking down every scenario –reach out to Chris on Twitter if you have more questions– it looks like Karlsson is going to require a relative gutting of the roster. I’d stay away, but I’m probably in the minority.

"Potential trade partner: Ottawa Senators", 2 out of 5 based on 12 ratings.

46 thoughts on “Potential trade partner: Ottawa Senators

  • Dec 12, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    At 27 you pull the trigger on whatever deal they want for Karlsson. You DoNOT pass on elite talent.

    I would wait another season to run at the cup if I know Karlsson will be on my team.

    • Dec 12, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      And get ready to re up him for 8-10 million for another 8 years…. at which point he’d be closing on 36 when said contract ends. That’s the ugly part of it, and would certainly spell the end of McDonagh’s tenure in NY.

  • Dec 12, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    The team issues are primarily defense, where we are one of the league worst (somehow we are worse right now without Girardi and Klein). At this point it has to do with the coaching, and AV/Ruff have no clue what they are doing. But also poor performance from many of our key personnel.

    AV is good at setting his team up to get high quality chances on offense. But our in-zone situation is garbage (and generally has been since he came here) and we get pummeled both in terms of rates, but also by giving up incredibly high quality chances. I think all the advanced goalie stats are understating how important Hank has been so far, and it’s great to see Pavelec get on the gravy train as well.

    Adding a center is a nice to have, but wouldn’t fix our key problems, and we would be back at square one. A healthy quartet of Zib/Hayes/Desharnais/Boo is more pretty good, and cheap. Let them play.

    Also if I was GM, I would definitely try to trade Vesey who doesn’t bring much to the table and has a much more vaunted reputation than his actual abilities.

    • Dec 12, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      “Adding a center is a nice to have, but wouldn’t fix our key problems, and we would be back at square one. A healthy quartet of Zib/Hayes/Desharnais/Boo is more pretty good, and cheap. Let them play.”

      Centers are far and away more important than defenseman, and that 4-some of centers is getting you a one-and-done playoff run.

      If you have the opportunity to add a young high caliber center, you do it

      • Dec 12, 2017 at 4:14 pm

        The Rangers did add a young high caliber center from Ottawa. His name is Mika Zibanejad. There isn’t much else worth trading for as far as pivots go from the Sens.

        • Dec 12, 2017 at 6:22 pm

          Doesn’t matter what team the center comes from. Centers have a greater impact than defenseman and if you have a choice between trading for a high end center or high end defenseman you trade for the center

  • Dec 12, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    I can’t think of a worse team to root for than Ottawa solely because of their penny pinching owner. Anytime the team finds talent, and it comes time for them to get paid get ready to part with said player. It’s disguisting. Eugene Melnyk is an absolute POS owner who should part ways with the team so that the organization can actually do something positive for it’s fanbase.

    Want to know why Brassard wasn’t asked to submit his list of teams….. because he’s only making 3 mil in actual dollars vs his 5 mil cap hit. That’s 2 million real dollars their dipstick owner won’t have to pay in order to reach the league cap floor.

    Also….. be careful what you wish for Matt Duchene…..

    • Dec 12, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      Glen Sather says “Hold my beer….”

  • Dec 12, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    What’s with the Hayes hate? He isn’t getting moved and matter of fact I predict that the next big trade will have a winger who fits his style or else he will get to play with Jafter Mika returns..

    • Dec 12, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      It is not “hate” to note that Hayes has been a significant player who spends prolonged periods in the Rangers zone. More importantly, since his rookie year, his G/60, A1/60, and P1/60 have all been declining every year. He isn’t driving possession, in fact he’s chasing possession.

    • Dec 12, 2017 at 6:58 pm

      The way you overrate Hayes is truly amusing Mint. The only value he brings at the moment is that he is a center on a team that has serious depth issues at that position-especially right now with Mika out.

      He’s a solid player I guess. But that’s the problem. He’s nowhere near the player we had hoped we are getting—at least not to this point.

      • Dec 12, 2017 at 7:28 pm

        Eddie, Hayes is a solid center, nothing spectacular, but for a guy his size I have yet to see him throw a body check in his entire NHL career. He is as soft as they come!

        • Dec 12, 2017 at 7:31 pm

          Maybe Willie Huber has been reincarnated in his body. Remember how overrated he was? Big guy who couldn’t throw a check to save his life! 🙂

          • Dec 13, 2017 at 11:00 am

            Oy, thanks for the memory E3, lol

  • Dec 12, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    we have become partners with Ottawa remember us trading brass to them for Z-Bad but now we need another center to compliment him they have parts that would fit well in new York like Matt Duchense he would be happy here and he would make Zucc go

    • Dec 12, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      Why on earth would Ottawa move a player they just spent significant assets to acquire?

      • Dec 12, 2017 at 7:45 pm

        One word: The GM….

  • Dec 12, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    glad you came around to warming up on Brassard. I actually think he would make a lot of sense and not cost as much as you would think. the Sens traded for Phaneuf and Burrows, so I would look to them for a deal here. I also think Brass’s knowledge of AV’s system, along with the chemistry you mentioned would make him a nice pickup. I was thinking we should have traded Stepan for Zib, instead of Brassard. That was probably not on the table and we would not have Andersson in the pipeline.
    I also think having Brass for 1 more year after this one is actually a prefect fit with the kids coming along in the next year or 2. He’s the #2 center we need and the cap hit is manageable. He would take a spot next year, but Andersson plays wing too and we will have some open spots there as well next season.

    • Dec 12, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      If we reacquire Brassard, his cap hit is $5 mil., so who are we trading that is acquiring him?

      Again, Nick Holden, Steve Kampfer, Paul Carey, DD are not netting you Brassard. Nor is any low level prospects that we have in Hartford. We’d have to trade something of value, and that would open a hole somewhere else.

      • Dec 13, 2017 at 3:47 pm

        So the cap hit gets reduced as the season progresses, it would not be $5mill. But move out say Nick Holden and you have the space. We are talking about trading with Pierre Dorian. He willingly took Dion Phanuef, and is contract and traded Alex Burrows and gave Burrows a 2 year extension with NTC. You are giving him a lot of credit.

    • Dec 12, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      Sens are in cup or bust mode so no way would they want or need Stepan.

  • Dec 12, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    If Karlsson’s name is brought up, you try to work out a deal. If it starts with Skjei and Hayes, just do it! I would throw in Zucc too if we could get a 2nd rounder back.

    NY is not that far away from becoming Ottawa (like next year)

  • Dec 12, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    McDonagh and Hayes/Kreider, add Graves or another prospect if need be for Karlsson.

    • Dec 12, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      Last time we traded a bunch of assets [ mccwen, hickey, dublois ] for a star defenseman, it didnt quite workout for us……..never got back to the finals….
      That being said, I doubt the senators would accept it but McDonagh, hayes, and graves and another prospect NOT named chytil, I would do .
      Possible we would be better off using those assets to get top center or wing instead……
      Definitely Not willing to give up Shjel…….
      Karlssons stats this year scary….1 goal minus 16 +/-….as his his salary….
      [Too bad Derek Jeter isn’t the senators GM…..then we can get him for nothing!]

      • Dec 12, 2017 at 4:27 pm

        Who is Shjel? Shel Silverstein, the writer? I don’t think Ottawa would want him, he’s dead.

        • Dec 12, 2017 at 5:48 pm

          MC…..Who the F@#$%^&K are you, the spelling police??????
          At least include a comment on the comments!

          • Dec 12, 2017 at 7:02 pm

            Good spelling is the hallmark of a civilized society Rich. 🙂

            • Dec 12, 2017 at 9:31 pm

              Not exactly, good manners are……..along with the golden rule!

      • Dec 12, 2017 at 5:09 pm

        last time was when the rangers traded the Duke, a 1st and a 2nd for keithy Yandle? same result.

        • Dec 12, 2017 at 7:51 pm

          There is absolutely no comparison between Yandle and Karlsson….

  • Dec 12, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    McDonagh and Fasth for Erik Karlsson!

  • Dec 12, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    wait… so this fantasy is based off the best defensemen in the league, a guy who could easily be nicknamed “Norris”, saying that he wants max $$ for his next deal.


    EK will remain a senator people!

    Do you hear that, its the alarm clock going off, breakfast is ready, stop dreaming people…

  • Dec 12, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    For Karlsson?

    Skjei, Chytil, Miller, and a #1 (maybe 2 #1s).

    That’s what it would take to get the 3rd best player in the league.

    No mention of mark Stone.

    • Dec 12, 2017 at 6:56 pm

      Mark Stone is an RFA after this year (made $3.5M) but he is 25 and RIGHTY. He has 25 pts (14 goals) in 28 games.

      Hoffman is LEFTY and 28.

      It doesn’t seem like a big deal but the Rangers desperately need more righty players in the line up.

      • Dec 12, 2017 at 7:03 pm

        Great point!

    • Dec 13, 2017 at 6:20 am

      Don’t thumbs down the messenger, lol.

  • Dec 12, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    I like Hoffman. The Rangers have been missing a sniper for along time and I think Hoffman would help with that. He’s got a great shot and would also help with the power play.

    • Dec 12, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      Unless the Sens are doing a contract sell off, I don’t think the Rangers have the assets to get a guy like this.

  • Dec 12, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    This is one of those times that I don’t have an opinion. I’m terrible at suggesting trades. But I applaud Dave and the rest of you for laying out some intriguing options. Great reading!

    • Dec 12, 2017 at 6:57 pm

      You don’t have an opinion? Not even to say “I wonder what our coach thinks?” 🙂

      • Dec 12, 2017 at 7:05 pm

        Well, since I’ve been accused of being AV’s agent, a member of his family, or the coach himself, obviously I already know what AV thinks, right? 🙂

        I’m far more interested in what Gorton thinks, since it will be his call.

        • Dec 12, 2017 at 7:11 pm

          Great answer, lol. You must be in the media business, lol.

          2011, the Sens did the same thing (asked players to put trade lists together) and they sold off some players.

          Same thing now? Interesting that Brass was not one of the players asked, considering he’s 30+.

          I would assume Stone and Pageau stay since they are mid 20s. Hoffman could be traded. Karlsson? I don’t see it. Franchise players are hardly ever traded (Weber for Subban is a major rarity these days).

  • Dec 12, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Edmonton 7 Columbus 2……I will say it again BSB crew, and please repeat after me…there are no gimmes in the NHL….there are no gimmes in the NHL…there are no gimmes in the NHL…….

    I wonder if Blue Jacket fans think their team is a bunch of gutless no shows the way some out here characterized the Rangers last night.

    Inquiring minds want to know….

  • Dec 13, 2017 at 9:33 am

    I wouldn’t trade Skjei … nor Shestorkin… nor Anderson… and definitely not Chytil

  • Dec 13, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    We need to decide who and what we are at the trading deadline. If their review is on target, then we decide which way to go. I would rather have a guy like Gallagher from Montreal than Hoffman from Ottawa.

  • Dec 14, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Brass – thanks, but do not want redux

    Hoffman, would have to overpay, I would consider that, but not optimistic it can be done in the currency NY must use, so no.

    Karlsson – forget. Pipe dream. Trade even more destructive than just signing as UFA. He will command crazy contract, deservedly so, and that will be extended years at risk pass his prime. easy pass.

    Pag- likely win win
    McDonagh + Lias Andersson
    Chabot + JPG

    unusually very balanced deal, ballpark same $ and age.
    elc for elc LD for LD and C for C.

    why Sens – get immediate partner for Karlsson, who is on sweetheart deal while Karl is here. If things go bad, can package BOTH as rental. Also get Andersson who is elc pivot helps them w/cap

    Rangers get solid LD add on elc, and decent, moderate $ on effective vet w/upside who is only mid 29s

    win win

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