Should The Ottawa Senators Look To Bring Back Alex Chiasson?


When the Jason Spezza trade went down a year ago, the intial return seemed a little underwhelming. No sure fire piece included, no top-tier prospect, nothing huge. That said, it did seem to be a decent move for the Senators given their situation regarding Spezza.

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When Alex Chiasson came into the franchise, bars were set. His previous performance of 35 points through 79 games included a dry stretch where Chiasson dealt with the flu and lost weight. It seemed that if he could remain consistent that perhaps 20 goals or 45-50 points was a possibility for Chiasson.

Now, with his first season in Ottawa completed, the trade seems even more underwhelming. It remains a truth that the Senators do not have an NHL impact piece on their roster from the Jason Spezza deal. Alex Guptill has been a bust in Binghamton, yet hope is still held for prospect Nick Paul and the 2nd round pick in this upcoming draft.  Those last two are decent pieces and you could argue that moving Spezza worked in favour of the Senators. Either way, it’s certainly better than losing him come free agency.

So heading into 15-16, the Senators have a log-jam at forward and with Alex Chiasson due for a new contract the question of extension has to be asked.

The Upside

The Spezza move really displayed Bryan Murray’s obsession with big players. Not one small player was moved in the deal as Spezza (6.03), Karlsson (6.03) were swapped for Paul (6.03), Guptill (6.02) and Chiasson (6.04). While the upside regarding Chiasson has remained that of a goal scoring winger, he hasn’t proven to be anything more than a bottom 6 forward on the Senators.

Despite the powerplay time and occasional top 6 minutes, Chiasson hasn’t taken that next step. While size is certainly a draw, a few other aspects of Chiasson’s game kill the opportunity to see high upside. His skating certainly isn’t at the level he or the organization would like and his puck skills are simply atrocious on a nightly basis. While those are hard things to improve, Chiasson is coming off of a 26 point year and is a useful player—the issue is, the Senators have a lot of useful players.

Expected Contract + Trade Value

The Senators certainly aren’t looking to lock up Chiasson long-term, and it won’t be a high value amount. In the range of 1.5 million – 2.0 million is certainly reasonable with a term of a year or two. That’s all that would be required and you’d have to think it would be an easy deal to get done.

But going back to the idea of useful players and we see that players like Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Curtis Lazar, Milan Michalek, Erik Condra, heck even Chris Neil have played better at an energy role than Chiasson. All the guys mentioned there (scratch Neil) have great skating skills and see the ice well. Chiasson has proved neither.

If the difference between having someone restricted vs unrestricted (Chiasson vs Condra) led to one player being ousted while the other remained; than the Senators are not evaluating their players correctly. In fact, unless it’s for money reasons and Condra figures he could test free agency in hopes of a multi-year deal, then there is no reason Chiasson should be on Ottawa while Condra is not.

Expected Contract: 1-2 years, 1.50 – 2.0 million

In terms of trade value, you’d have to think it’s at a low. Chiasson entered the league with 6 goals in his first 7 games and followed that up with a 35 point performance. At the “height” of the league’s movement towards big players, Chiasson fit the bill and was considered quite the piece by the Stars and around the league.

In terms of trade value today, you’d think his expected contract would reflect that value. The Senators aren’t likely to trade him and I’d give him another shot, but if a deal were to be made, Chiasson would probably be moved in a package deal or straight up for another troublesome piece. Ideally, it’s a package deal and Ottawa capitalizes on his value, if not, a straight up deal for another troublesome player or a prospect works as well.


The question at hand is, should the Ottawa Senators bring back Alex Chiasson? He’s a piece that didn’t prove much this past season and one who seems highly replaceable.

If Chiasson could net you another good pick or the chance to move up in the draft, perhaps there is a deal to be done on draft day. If not, a one-for-one or package deal scenario could make sense for Ottawa.

Next: The Ottawa Senators' Top 10 Prospects

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