As reported earlier, Senators GM Bryan Murray started the rebuild Thursday when he completed a trade with the Nashville Predators which sees Mike Fisher moved to Nashville in exchange for a first round pick and a conditional 3rd round pick.
Here is my take on the trade:
When GM Bryan Murray came out a few weeks ago and said Ottawa will begin a rebuilding phase to turn this team back into a Cup contender, nobody knew exactly what was to come. Murray claimed to have a plan but would not reveal it. Today we found out what the plan is – a complete tear down.
Long-time Sen and fan favourite, Mike Fisher was seen as a untouchable in this city. But with the downward spiral the team has been on since their 2007 Stanley Cup Final appearance, Fisher was deemed not part of the rebuild. What Ottawa got back in this trade (1st round pick and a conditional pick) explains the long-term plan Murray has. Not taking back any salary or an NHL player, Murray wants a clean slate to set the table for a whole new roster.
From an Ottawa point of view, I think Ottawa got the best they could get for Fisher. Coming off his career year last season, Fisher is on pace for one of his lowest outputs in his career. With two years left on his contract at $4.2 million per season, being able to move this contract opens up tons of cap space for next season and beyond, and will give Ottawa a chance to restructure their cap situation.
Along with the cap space, Ottawa gets younger as Fisher will turn 31 this year. Entering his 30′s, Fisher has been injury prone throughout his career and is suffering from a rib injury at the time of his trade. The two draft picks will infuse some more youth into Ottawa’s system and will help Ottawa compete in a younger NHL.
From a Nashville point of view, they pick up a player built for the playoffs. Fisher will bring leadership and grit to Smashville and will help them compete in a physical Western conference. Being able to chip in here and there, Fisher’s true benefit to the Predators will be in his shutdown capabilities when lining up against some of the best centres in the West.
Fisher will also help move this franchise forward. Needing to break through and advance past the first round in the playoffs, Fisher’s brand of hockey will help carry Nashville through a playoff round or two. Nashville needs this if they hope to keep franchise pieces such as Shea Weber and Ryan Suter in the fold when their contracts need to be re-upped in the near future.
I agree with Jared’s assessment that this trade is a win-win for both teams. Ottawa gets help for their rebuild and Nashville have improved their playoff chances.
Check out Jared’s thoughts on the Fisher trade.