Trade Talk: Anderson, Lehner, Additional 1st Round Pick


Today (or this morning since I am posting this so late) in the hockey world, there was plenty of trade talk surrounding the Ottawa Senators. Most of it was predictably around their goaltending situation. It has been known for a few weeks now that with Andrew Hammond signed, the Senators would be trading either Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner.

Bryan Murray has said that he wants to trade one of the two by the draft, and day by day we are slowly getting more information about a potential big deal. Now Bruce Garrioch has revealed the amount of teams interested:

I’m not totally surprised more teams are calling on Lehner, as he has tons of upside and is much younger than Anderson. Still though, some teams who want to win now might be bidding hard for Anderson. The funny thing is, a team like Buffalo might be trying to up the price for Lehner so they can out-bid a team like San Jose who is trying to get Anderson. Only one of them will be traded, and whoever gets the better package will move. Interesting scenario that you don’t see very often.

Out of the seven teams, there are a few I know for sure that have been linked to Ottawa. I have seen the Edmonton Oilers, Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, and Winnipeg Jets all in trade talks, but I’m not quite sure who the other two could be. Playing the guessing game it could perhaps be the Dallas Stars and the Calgary Flames, as they would make the most sense.

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The Sharks and Blues would most likely be trying to acquire Anderson as they still have a window left to compete. But the up and coming Sabres and Oilers would probably be more interested in Lehner. There certainly could be plenty of offers (good or bad), and I think the Oilers may try hard to get their man.

Dan Seguin mentioned something that Murray said about the goalie situation, which was interesting also:

That isn’t exactly ground breaking news, but as of now it seems very clear that in a deal for either of these goalies Murray is trying to go for the top six forward that he has been talking about forever. It seems like everyone is dumbfounded by this, and so am I (I’ll be writing about this later). They have a solid top-six forward group and a bad bottom defense pairing yet the forwards are the focus.

We have also heard that Murray may end up using this goalie trade to dump a bad contract like Colin Greening, but of course that would make the return not so great. However, they could do the exact opposite and instead sweeten the pot. That would make things very interesting, because then perhaps they could actually acquire a legitimate top six winger (not that they need one).

The only thing is, I’m not sure what assets they have. The only player in the top-six that might move is Mike Hoffman. But why would you trade your leading goal scorer who is only 25? That would be a net negative move. Perhaps Jared Cowen still has an ounce of value to other teams, but who knows at this point. I’d be surprised if anyone wanted him, but it’s worth a shot.

Mar 21, 2015; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators left wing Mike Hoffman (68) controls the puck in the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

If they really want to increase value from their side, they will have to offer Curtis Lazar, Cody Ceci, or Jean-Gabriel Pageau. But all of those players have such low odds of moving, as they seem to be loved by the organization. After that, there isn’t much.

They could offer some draft picks, but I would advise against that. They need to replenish the system, not stagnate it. There aren’t too many prospects that would sweeten the pot that much, but Shane Prince, Matt Puempel, Mikael Wikstrand, or Tobias Lindberg may bring back a bit better return.

I can’t wait to see what the end result is from all of this. I shouldn’t be expecting too much, and you shouldn’t either. I just can’t imagine Ottawa acquiring a big name, because it seems like they don’t have the pieces. Nevertheless, they still might get a good return that isn’t an established forward.

There was one other interesting thing that Wayne Scanlan said today as well:

That’s the first I have heard of this, although it seems like they said that every year. So I would take that with a grain of salt. However, considering that the Oilers want to acquire Lehner and they own the 16th overall pick, maybe that is the pick they are dangling in front of Ottawa to make a deal happen.

Personally, I wouldn’t do that trade, but mostly because I think Lehner should stay either way. That seems like the only way the Senators could get another 1st rounder, because like I said before I just don’t see what they could offer other teams. They have good young pieces, but many of them should be untouchable.

I would not be surprised to see Lehner traded with a 1st round pick coming back Ottawa’s way, at least as part of the overall deal. It should be fascinating in the next few weeks though, as the Senators certainly have their work cut out for them.

Next: A Colin Greening Buyout Makes No Sense