With the 2019-20 NHL season on hold we are going to take a look at where each NHL team stands at this moment with a series of posts examining their season. Have they met expectations? Exceeded expectations? Who has been the surprise? All of that and more. Today we look at the 2019-20 Ottawa Senators.
2019-20 Ottawa Senators
Record: 25-34-12 (62 points in 71 games), second-worst in the East and in the NHL.
Leading Scorer: Brady Tkachuk – 44 points (21 goals and 23 assists)
In-Season Roster Moves
- Traded Jean-Gabriel Pageau to the Islanders for a conditional 2020 first-rounder, the Islanders’ 2020 second-rounder, and a conditional third-round pick in 2022.
- Gave up a 2021 fourth-rounder to land Vladislav Namestnikov from the Rangers early in the season. Eventually received Colorado’s 2021 fourth-rounder for Namestnikov. Most likely a move down the fourth round, but at least they recouped a pick.
- Sent Andrew Sturtz and a 2021 fifth-rounder to Canadiens for Mike Reilly.
- Received Winnipeg’s 2020 third-rounder in Dylan DeMelo trade.
- Snagged a 2021 fifth-round pick from Oilers for Tyler Ennis.
Heading into 2019-20, the question wasn’t if the Senators would be good or bad. It was how bad? Would the season be an eternal slog mixed with more groan-worthy headlines regarding owner Eugene Melnyk?
The answers: pretty bad, but maybe could have been worse, and … sure, there were bad Melnyk moments, yet 2019-20 wasn’t as drama-loaded as previous seasons.
Instead of the Senators being the kings of the cellar, the Red Wings were the ones who stunk up the joint quite royally. Sure, Ottawa sits second-worst in both the East and the NHL. They still showed some fight here and there, as the Sharks (63 points in 70 games) and Kings (64 in 70) weren’t that far ahead of the Sens.
Maybe most importantly, they didn’t overreact to, say, Jean-Gabriel Pageau playing over his head. As much as trading Pageau might have stung, Ottawa made the right decision.
With the Senators, you can’t always assume that they’ll make the correct judgments. As a franchise-altering 2020 NHL Draft looms, they’ll need to pair wise choices with lottery luck to make the light at the end of the tunnel shine brighter.
Highlight of the Season for 2019-20 Senators
Let’s be honest. It’s probably that the Sharks ended up almost as bad as the Senators.
It’s not yet clear how the 2020 NHL Draft’s lottery will work, but under the old parameters, the Senators hold the second and third-highest odds to land the top pick. Both of those picks have more than one-in-three odds of at least landing in the top three, according to Tankathon.
So, yeah, the biggest highlight or lowlight will probably boil down to whether or not Senators fans see their team’s logo on those prime real estate picks. That doesn’t mean that it’s a disaster if they don’t get the chance to pick Alexis Lafreniere, but the future would look far more promising if they did.
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