After three absolutely horrendous seasons, the Ottawa Senators offseason finally makes them look like they are making progress at becoming a serious contender in the NHL. General Manager Pierre Dorion made some tough and sad decisions by letting go of franchise icons. Dorion also made some fantastic draft selections and made some huge acquisitions during the offseason. In this article, Clancy Golden will be breaking down the Ottawa Senators offseason.
Ottawa Senators Offseason Trades
The Ottawa Senators offseason was not limited to just signings as they made two trades. The first trade was with the Arizona Coyotes. Derek Stepan was traded from the Coyotes for a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. For the Coyotes, they continue to free up salary cap space and try to not make their owner go bankrupt. The Coyotes also add to their stockpile of high draft picks to try and rebuild through the draft and become a relevant franchise again.
From the Senators perspective, this piece of news is fantastic. The Senators use their abundance of cap space to add a veteran player who will be a great leader on and off the ice and will provide solid center depth to the young Senators. Derek Stepan is a 30-year-old center that will be a very good player on the Senators second line. He most likely will play alongside German sensation Tim Stutzle and Evgenii Dadonov.
The Ottawa Senators offseason included making yet another trade. This time the Tampa Bay Lightning were involved in the trade. The Lightning received Anders Nilsson and Marian Gaborik. Nilsson and Gaborik will not play for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they have injuries that have prevented them from getting into NHL action. Their contracts will be put on long term injured reserve and will allow the Tampa Bay Lightning to spend an extra $7 million on their roster.
In this trade, the Ottawa Senators acquire Braydon Coburn and Cedric Paquette, and a second-round pick. Coburn and Paquette will instantly upgrade their team as they will be in the Senators’ everyday lineup. Last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Braydon Coburn played in 40 regular-season games and scored one goal and added three assists.
In the playoffs, Braydon Coburn only played in three games in the Lighting’s quest to win the Stanley Cup. In the three playoff games, he did not score at all. Coburn will most likely play alongside Erik Brannstrom or Josh Brown for the Ottawa Senators.
Cedric Paquette was also apart of the Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup championship team. During the 2019-20 regular season, Paquette played in 61 games for the Lightning. He scored seven goals and eleven assists for a career-high of 18 points. During the playoffs, he played in 25 games for Tampa Bay but he only managed to get three assists. Paquette will slide into the bottom six of the Senators.
Callahan Calls It a Career
The long time New York Rangers captain decided to announce his retirement on the morning of December 30th. When Ryan Callahan was healthy he was a terrific player for the Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning. He was drafted by the Rangers in the fourth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He rewarded the Rangers by playing parts of eight seasons with the club. In his time playing for the Rangers Callahan had 132 goals and 122 assists.
The Tampa Bay Lightning became interested in acquiring Callahan’s services and, in the middle of the 2013-14 season, acquired him. Callahan played parts of six seasons with the Lightning before succumbing to his back injuries. When he was healthy, Callahan was able to score 54 goals and 78 assists for Tampa Bay.
Callahan found himself traded to the Ottawa Senators for cap purposes and he immediately was placed on the Long term injury reserve list this past season due to his back injuries. Hopefully, Callahan can enjoy his retirement after a very good NHL career.
Ottawa Senators Offseason Key Losses
As previously mentioned, General Manager Pierre Dorion had to make some very tough decisions this Ottawa Senators offseason. Some Senators fans will be very disappointed and sad with some of the decisions as long time Senators and fan favorites, Craig Anderson, Mark Borowiecki, and Bobby Ryan will not be returning. The decision to not bring these players back should benefit the Senators now and in the future.
The Ottawa Senators offseason included parting ways with Bobby Ryan. In his seven seasons with Ottawa, Ryan was actually very productive as he scored above a half-point per game. He collected 266 points in 455 games.
During the offseason, the former second overall pick took his talents back to the United States and will now suit up for the Detroit Red Wings. He signed a one-year contract worth $1 million. Hopefully, Ryan and the Red Wings find success together next season.
Craig Anderson has been the goaltender of the Senators for a long time. This offseason, he was not retained by the Senators so he was invited to the Washington Capitals training camp. After the heartbreaking news that Henrik Lundqvist needs open-heart surgery and will not be able to play in the 2020-21 season, the Capitals needed to quickly find a backup goalie. They invited veteran goalie Craig Anderson to tryout for the team.
Anderson has been a very good goalie in his career. He has a career .913 save percentage and a career 2.84 goals-against average. Although those numbers are very good, the last few seasons have not been as good statistically. In each of the last three seasons, his goals-against average has been above three and his save percentage was right around .900. If he makes the Capitals, expect his numbers to improve thanks to a better team in front of him and him not playing as much.
The career journeyman may have finally found his home, but not in Ottawa. Anthony Duclair had a successful first season with the Senators as he scored 23 goals and 17 assists. Most thought the two sides would agree to a contract to bring Duclair back to Ottawa for a couple more seasons.
Instead, Duclair decided to go south and sign with the Florida Panthers. The Panthers lost two gifted goal scorers in Mike Hoffman and Evengii Dadonov. Dadonov actually signed with the Senators. Hoffman left the Panthers to sign with the St. Louis Blues. Duclair hopefully will continue his success into next season with the Panthers.
Ottawa Senators Offseason Additions
When a team lets go of lots of their players, they have to find some replacements for them. Pierre Dorion had a fantastic offseason as he upgraded his team by acquiring more talent than he previously had on his roster. He brought in veterans with playoff experience and goal scorers who can have a major impact on the Senator’s record.
He was the starting goalie for the Penguins when they were back-to-back Stanley Cup champions. He outplayed fan favorite and future hall of Famer Marc-Andre Fleury so much that Fleury wasn’t protected in the expansion draft. This led to the Vegas Golden Knights drafting Fleury to be their first starting goalie in franchise history.
Murray has not enjoyed the same success since Fleury left. During 2019-20, Murray had the worst statistical season of his career. He posted a 2.87 goals-against average and a .899 save percentage. The Ottawa Senators offseason included them deciding to acquire a real goalie by trading a second-round pick and prospect Jonathon Gruden to the Penguins for Murray. Murray immediately signed a four-year contract with Ottawa. He will be making $6.25 million in each year of his contract to man the crease for Ottawa. Hopefully, Murray can get back to his elite level of play and help the Senators get back into the playoffs.
The Ottawa Senators offseason included them adding elite scorers. Evgenii Dadonov is guaranteed to score at least 25 goals for your club. He will be a fantastic addition to the Senators roster that is trying to get back to the playoffs. After spending the last three seasons with the Florida Panthers, Dadonov is ready to be on a real team that can actually compete. On the Senators, Dadonov projects to play with Tim Stutzle and Derek Stepan. He was a fantastic addition during the Ottawa Senators offseason.
The Ottawa Senators offseason included adding an interesting player in Alex Galchenyuk. He can play all forward positions and has the ability to be a 30-goal scorer. He did not have the best season offensively as he only had eight goals and 16 assists. During the 2019-2020 season, Galchenyuk played for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota Wild. Galchenyuk once scored 30 goals for the Montreal Canadiens. He still has the potential to be a consistent 30-goal scorer. If his scoring touch can return, then he will be a fantastic addition to the Senators.
The Ottawa Senators offseason included signing another journeyman player. Erik Gudbranson is a huge and hard-hitting defenseman. After joining the Senators, Gudbranson has officially been a part of five NHL franchises.
Gudbranson is an Ottawa native and is very excited to play for his home club. He is going to be a leader and veteran for the team. This was already recognized as he and two other Senators were named alternate captains. Hopefully, Gudbranson can finally settle down in one city and be an important player for the Ottawa Senators.
The Ottawa Senators offseason also included drafting German sensation Tim Stutzle with the third overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft. Ottawa fans hope Stutzle is the key to finding success in the league again. Team Germany fans also shared the same hope as Tim Stutzle captained his home country in the 2021 World Junior Championship. Stutzle had battled an injury during the 2020 season but he did return for the tournament.
Before playing in the World Junior Championship, Stutzle last played competitive hockey in the 2019-20 season for Adler Mannheim of the DEL. In 41 games, Stutzle had seven goals and 27 assists. An impressive total for most but Stutzle could have been even better had he not missed time because he was playing in the 2020 World Junior Championship. In five games during the 2020 tournament, Stutzle had five assists for team Germany.
During the 2021 tournament, Stutzle recovered from his injury and played in five games. He scored a ridiculous five goals and five assists. Senators fans should be very excited for his future.
After a very eventful Ottawa Senators offseason the team actually looks like they have a promising future. The Ottawa Senators offseason included cutting ties with some players that have spent the majority of their careers in Canada’s capital. Hopefully they find success in their new cities. The Ottawa Senators offseason also included lots of talent being that will for sure improve the Senators and maybe push them into the playoffs for the upcoming season.
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