Derek Stepan played his last game this season with the Ottawa Senators, but not because of a trade request he may (or may not) have made. Instead, Stepan’s season is over after the Senators announced that he’ll undergo shoulder surgery.
“Following a review and assessment by the team’s medical staff, it has been determined that Derek requires a surgical procedure to repair a damaged labrum that he incurred in dislocating his left shoulder,” Senators GM Pierre Dorion said in a team statement. “A procedure is scheduled to take place later this week which will see him miss the remainder of our season but it is expected that he be fully recovered ahead of next season. Our medical staff will remain in regular contact with Derek and his doctors as he continues his recovery.”
As Dorion noted, Derek Stepan’s expected to be good to go for the 2021-22 NHL season.
With Stepan’s season over, a costly trade for the Senators
From day one, the Coyotes looked like the biggest winners of the trade that sent Stepan to the Senators.
On one hand, the Senators didn’t send their 2021 second rounder to the Coyotes for Stepan. Instead, Arizona received the Blue Jackets’ 2021 second-rounder. Being that the Blue Jackets are in the sort of crisis that warrants “votes of confidence,” that could still be a valuable second-rounder.
And, while Stepan’s actual cost is less than his $6.5M cap hit, the Coyotes also saved money. A nice win for a Coyotes franchise that sorely needs them.
Ultimately, Stepan scored a goal and five assists for six points in his 20 games with the Senators.
While it’s understandable that Dorion wanted to speed up the Senators’ rebuild, the Stepan trade didn’t end up being an optimal use of assets.
Derek Stepan, out for the season, provides his value from playmaking and definitely not scoring goals. This season was no different but he was certainly a better playdriver than most of what the Sens had. #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/4YWIPdLXGm
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) March 2, 2021
It will be interesting to see what kind of market Stepan, 30, commands. That’s especially true if he wants to restrict his free agent options to teams that are “closer to home.”