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Should Ottawa Target Zach Bogosian?

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With the story reported yesterday by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, apparently stud-defenseman Zach Bogosian  of the Atlanta Thrashers could be available for a price. As McKenzie states, Bogosian has fallen in the depth chart with the emergence of Tobias Enstrom and the acquisition of Dustin Byfuglien  in this past off-season. Coming into his third NHL season, it was thought that Bogosian would have a breakout campaign. However, he is on pace for his lowest point output of his young career.

With a new coaching staff this season, Bogosian seems to have fallen out of favour for Enstrom and Byfuglien as they are playing big minutes in Atlanta. Bogosian’s regression may be caused by his perceived position on the team as he thought he would be a go-to guy. Being the third overall pick in the 2008 draft, right behind Steven Stamkos and Drew Doughty, Bogosian came into the league with a lot of fanfare.

Being a solid, physical defenseman, with great mobility and a canon, Bogosian is seen as a potential franchise defenseman. If the rumours are true, should Ottawa make a play for Bogosian?

To determine if Ottawa should go after Bogosian, you have to look at three factors:

What will it cost to get him?

How will he fit on the team?

Is he in the long-term plans of the team?

What will it cost to get Bogosian?

To get Bogosian, a team will have to pay a high price. However, Atlanta is in a dog fight to make the playoffs this season. Currently, they only sit one point out of a playoff spot. Needing to make the playoffs, Atlanta might be enticed to trade Bogosian for immediate help to get into the playoffs. This is where Ottawa comes in.

Mike Fisher would be the perfect player for a young, struggling Atlanta team. Fisher brings leadership and character, and could help lead a very young and inexperienced Thrasher team to the playoffs. Having a window to trade Fisher to any team in the league this season without his consent, Ottawa could send Fisher to Atlanta for Bogosian (with bits and pieces added to make the deal work from both sides) .

How will he fit on the team?

Bogosian is an all around defenseman, with a mean streak and an offensive up-side. If he was to join the Senators defensive unit, Bogosian would be the perfect compliment to the style of Erik Karlsson. With both players having offensive abilities (Karlsson more than Bogosian), Bogosian would be the defensive conscience of the pairing while still providing some offense.

With the expected departure of Chris Phillips, Bogosian could also step in and fill in the role of a shutdown defenseman. Being 6’3″ amd 205 lbs, Bogosian has the attributes to keep the opposition honest.

Is he in the long-term plans of the team?

If Bogosian was acquired, Ottawa’s defensive unit would be set for the next decade. With Karlsson and Bogosian at the NHL level, and David Rundblad, Jared Cowen and Patrick Wiericoch  in the pipeline, Ottawa’s defense would have the right mix of skill and grit. And only 20 years old, Bogosian hasn’t even come close to hitting his prime yet. This unit would be able to grow together and become one of the strongest units in the league.

So should Ottawa target Zach Bogosian?

In a rebuild, hard decisions must be made. Should Mike Fisher be traded? Yes. His prime years will be when Ottawa is not a contending team. Sell high is the goal of any GM in the league, and Fisher’s marketability is as high as it will ever be. Zach Bogosian is a building block and a franchise defenseman. To do this rebuild right, Ottawa must build from their back-end out.

So Sens army, what would you do?