Tag: Ottawa Senators

Phil Kessel

What noteworthy players might get moved at the draft?


June 26th is the day that Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel will finally be drafted, but that’s not all that will happen. Each year there are typically some major trades made just before or during the draft. In that spirit, here are some of the popular candidates to be moved this time around:

Phil Kessel — Toronto is looking to go in a new direction and it seems likely that will involve Kessel finding a new home. The big question though is if Toronto can get what it would consider fair value for him. Toronto is reportedly willing to take on a contract to make his $8 million cap hit through 2021-22 more palatable, but it would still be difficult for many contending teams to take him on. At the same time, Kessel has five 30-plus goal seasons under his belt and has reached the 80-point mark on two occasions. He doesn’t have much playoff experience, but he has scored 13 goals and 21 points in 23 postseason games.

Patrick Sharp — Chicago has had to part ways with a lot of talented players over the last several years in order to stay under the cap. The Blackhawks once again have cap issues after winning its third Stanley Cup in six years. They might be able to address it without moving Sharp, but he’ll be 34 years old in December and he has two more years with a $5.9 million cap hit, so now might be the time to move him from a value perspective. Speaking of which:

It would be surprising to see Chicago get that, but this might also be a case of the Blackhawks starting the bidding high so they have something to work down from.

Cam Talbot — In two seasons with the Rangers, Talbot has a 2.00 GAA and .931 save percentage in 51 games. That’s made him the ideal understudy, but it also means that the Rangers aren’t likely to retain his services when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2016. With that in mind, it would make sense for New York to move him now, especially seeing as there’s reportedly considerable interest in him. As Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman noted, Talbot isn’t eligible to sign an extension until Jan. 1, 2016, which means any team acquiring him will have an increased risk of watching him walk as a free agent. That might hurt the Rangers’ return a bit.

Kyle Okposo — He is a recent addition to the rumor mill as Newsday’s sources said that he could be on the trading block. Okposo only has a year left on his contract and while he currently comes with an affordable $2.8 million cap hit, he’s due for a big raise after recording 120 points in 131 games over the last two seasons. Still the Islanders have cap space to spare and they’re only now emerging as serious contenders, so it would be surprising to see them turn around and trade Okposo this summer. He certainly wouldn’t be the first player moved to catch people off guard though.

Craig Anderson/Robin Lehner — When the Ottawa Senators decided to sign Andrew Hammond to a three-year extension, it all-but guaranteed that they would move a goaltender this summer. The only question is which one. Lehner is just 23 years old (24 in July) and is locked in for two more years at roughly $2.2 million. That would be a pretty good deal if he lived up to his potential, but he’s had a rough couple of years. Anderson was the better netminder in 2014-15, but the fact that he’s 34 years old and still has three years left on his contract at $4.2 million per might give other general managers pause.

This shouldn’t be taken as a complete list, just a sampling of some of the more interesting cases.

After remarkable finish, Cameron focusing on Senators’ start

Pittsburgh Penguins v Ottawa Senators

Dave Cameron knows what the Ottawa Senators did last season was a remarkable story for a reason.

It’s just not very often that a hockey team goes 24-4-4 in its last 32 games, erasing a 14-point deficit to make the playoffs.

As such, Cameron — armed with a two-year contract extension — would, next season, like to avoid the kind of start that put the Sens in such a deep hole this past one.

“As exciting as that run was, you’re not going to be able to duplicate that under too many circumstances and we don’t want to try and be in that position,” Cameron said, per the Canadian Press“Our start is going to be important and what goes into a start is obviously a good training camp.”

The young Sens have plenty of room to improve. If not for the goaltending they received from unlikely hero Andrew Hammond, they’d have been hard-pressed to do what they did. Puck-possession wise, they were simply average.

In a related story, with Hammond signed through 2017-18, the Sens are expected to trade one of Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner.

Ottawa had the NHL’s fourth-best team save percentage (.921) in 2014-15, behind only the Canadiens (.926), Blackhawks (.925) and Rangers (.923).

Related: Cameron ‘extremely proud’ of Senators

Sens sign Pageau, head coach Cameron to two-year extensions

Ottawa Senators v New York Rangers

The Ottawa Senators made a pair of fairly significant moves on Thursday, signing both head coach Dave Cameron and forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau to two-year extensions.

Pageau, 22, really flourished after Cameron took over for Paul MacLean last year, and finished with career-highs in games (50), goals (10), assists (nine) and points (19). As a result, he’ll now earn $900,000 annually on his new deal and, perhaps even more importantly, will now be on a one-way deal. Pageau has spent a considerable amount of time with AHL Binghamton over the last few seasons, but now looks to be a full-fledged NHLer.

As for the head coach…

Cameron, 56, officially inked the extension GM Bryan Murray put on the table soon after Ottawa was eliminated from the postseason. The deal is well deserved; Cameron took over on Dec. 8 and led Ottawa on one of the greatest playoff rallies in league history — the Sens went 32-15-8 for 72 points over 55 games during his tenure, overcoming a 14-point deficit to make the playoffs on the final day of the regular season.

Report: Sens unlikely to buy out Greening, could be included in goalie trade

Colin Greening

The Ottawa Senators know they need to move Colin Greening — they just aren’t sure how to do it.

Greening, who fell out of the team’s plans shortly after signing a three-year, $7.95 million extension in 2013, is unlikely to be bought out of his remaining two years and $5.95M, according to Ottawa Sun sources.

Which means a trade could be the club’s lone way out.

In that light, the Sun also reports that GM Bryan Murray has received “mild interest” from a couple of teams about Greening, a big-bodied winger that was a nice producer for Ottawa during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, scoring 19 points in 47 games during the regular season, then three goals and four points in 10 playoff games.

Since that run, though, Greening has been an afterthought in the Canadian capital. He made just 26 appearances last year and spent time with AHL Binghamton.

Per the Sun, the former Cornell standout could end up being packaged when Murray trades either Robin Lehner or Craig Anderson. The Sens have reportedly fielded calls from five or six teams already on their goalies, but it’s possible the club will have to retain some of Greening’s salary in order to work him into a deal.

Report: Ducks received permission to speak with Paul MacLean

Paul MacLean

Last month the Ottawa Sun reported that no team had approached the Senators for permission to speak with fired coach Paul MacLean.

According to hockey insider Pierre LeBrun, that has changed.

The Anaheim Ducks have been granted permission to speak to MacLean regarding their vacant assistant coaching position.

MacLean was fired in December after the Sens started the season with an 11-11-5 record.

In parts of four seasons behind the Ottawa Bench, the 57-year-old guided the Sens to a 114-90-35 record. The Senators clinched playoff berths in each of MacLean’s first two seasons.

Anaheim has a vacancy on Bruce Boudreau’s staff after the club fired Brad Lauer earlier this month.

In his 30 Thoughts post, Elliotte Friedman suggests MacLean may need some convincing to take a job other than a head coaching role.

MacLean served as an assistant coach in Anaheim when Mike Babcock was the team’s head coach.