6 Ottawa Senators Who Could Be Moving This Off-Season

With a few troublesome contracts on the books, GM Bryan Murray’s task this off-season should be to dump as many as possible, while creating roster and cap space for the large group of RFA’s Ottawa currently holds.

of course, those RFA’s include Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Alex Chiasson, Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, and Mika Zibanejad. With 4 of the 5 due for considerable raises, the space on the internal budget needs to be made. It may seem unrealistic that the Senators move all of those troublesome deals, but if everything were to go the way of the popular opinion amongst fans, here are 5 Senators who should not be back next season.

 

David Legwand

I have no problems with David Legwand’s game. He doesn’t make mistakes like some of the others on this list, the only issue is that Ottawa doesn’t need another veteran center, especially at three million dollars.

Legwand is currently surpassed by Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mika Zibanejad, and Kyle Turris on the depth chart, and with Derek Grant in Binghamton and Zack Smith proving he can be useful when healthy, Legwand is the odd man out.

With a year left on his deal, Legwand has been known to be a vocal and present leader. Perhaps he is a no-risk, cheap fit on a team like Buffalo or Edmonton for veteran support.

Either way, Ottawa should be able to dump Legwand’s contract with a 4th or 5th round draft pick coming back Ottawa’s way as compensation.

Chance Of A Move: 60%

 

Colin Greening

Colin Greening is a likely buyout candidate this off-season. After being waived and going unclaimed in February, Greening has not lived up to his near 3 million dollar AAV deal signed in the summer of 2013. The Senators have expressed their interest in moving Greening in the past and have been unsuccessful in finding a suitor.

In a buyout scenario, the Senators will save a little now, but will have to keep Greening on the books for 4 seasons afterwards, as opposed to the 2 years he has left.

Murray and co. will have to ask them selves what the better move is. On a budget-team, you’ll still be paying him the money, and if the money against the cap isn’t the issue, perhaps it is just best to let Greening play out his deal. Whether that’s in Binghamton or a loan to Europe, Greening likely won’t be back in a Senators uniform next season.

Chance Of A Move: 99%

 

Nov 29, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Ottawa Senators defenseman Eric Gryba (62) against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Gryba

I used to have some interest in Eric Gryba’s game. He fought his way into a full-time position under Paul MacLean last season, and somehow continued to play full minutes under Cameron late this season. This, of course despite the numerous defensive lapses and errors made by Gryba.

Gryba has a very favourable AAV of $1 250 000, making his expiring deal very moveable. For a team looking for defensive depth, Gryba could be a cheap fit. He’s shown he can play in the NHL, but considering Ottawa’s log-jam on D and Gryba’s lack of success, don’t be surprised if he is moved.

Chance Of A Move: 45%

 

Jared Cowen

Jared Cowen had bright spots this season, let’s not forget that. However, with Cowen falling out of favour towards the end of the season and some concerning quotes surfacing later on regarding his playing time, there’s a chance Cowen’s time in Ottawa has run up.

Bryan Murray still holds on to the fact that Cowen is going to be a good defender in this league, but with over 200 games under his belt and a lack of consistency shown throughout that whole time, you have to ask at what point you stop relying on potential. Now, with an AAV $3 100 000, the Senators may have reached that point with Jared Cowen.

If you’re expecting a grand return for Cowen, think again. But if the Senators can find a buyer for someone who was a top 10 pick not too long ago, Ottawa may find themselves with a useful piece coming back for Jared Cowen.

Chance Of A Move: 40%

 

Chris Neil/Chris Phillips

These guys are hard to callout, just because of how long they have been with the franchise. However, with the youth movement of late and areas of depth in both positions that the two veteran Chrises take up, the time of Chris Neil/Phillips being useful pieces on the Ottawa Senators could be up.

Of course, if the Senators move three defenders, someone else would have to be brought in. Up front, however, the Senators have the internal depth to fill the void Chris Neil would leave. In a new-age NHL, Sens GM Bryan Murray still talks a lot about the grit Neil brings as witnessed by the everlasting “harder forward” search.

Neil and Phillips are just depth players at this point. If the Sens are looking to truly take the next step forward as a franchise and move on usual internal depth, Phillips and Neil could very well be on the way out. And in discussing the idea with other fans, it may seem like the time to do it.

Chance Of A Move: 20%

 

HM’s 

Robin Lehner – In a move that would be quite unpopular, Ottawa’s young swede could be on the move this off-season. With Andrew Hammond signed and Craig Anderson remaining in Ottawa’ crease, Robin Lehner could be the odd-man out here.

Chance Of A Move: 50%

Zack Smith – had good seasons in the past, struggled mightily this season despite points on the Senators’ second line. At 27, he still holds value around the league and could easily be moved.

Chance Of A Move: 35%

Alex Chiasson – Didn’t display anything special. He’s an awkward skater and simply a depth piece in Ottawa. Perhaps he’s moved for another struggling young player or in a package, but Chiasson might not be brought back, especially while he’s on an expiring deal.

Chance Of A Move: 30%

Mark Borowiecki – Many have called for him to be traded, however I see him as a useful 6th defender. Borowiecki skates fine and unlike others on Ottawa’s d-core, he doesn’t make the same errors. Borowiecki certainly isn’t a part of the problem, but given his role, there’s a possibility he could be moved

Chance Of A Move: 25%

__

The Senators have around $17 million in dead cap heading into 15/16. Of course, that’s with more contracts than the maximum of 23 (15 forwards, 8 defence, 3 goaltenders), however if Ottawa wants to have a successful season that includes signing their RFA’s to realistic, fair deals, bodies will have to be moved.

Chris Neil/Phillips are hard ones to move, just given their stance with the franchise. Jared Cowen was a former top 10 pick and won’t bring back a good return. Eric Gryba, Colin Greening, and David Legwand are the easy ones here and if I were Bryan Murray, moving those salaries would be item number one on my off-season to-do list.