Ottawa Senators: Pierre Dorion’s worst trades as General Manager

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 22: Eugene Melynk and Pierre Dorion of the Ottawa Senators attend the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JUNE 22: Eugene Melynk and Pierre Dorion of the Ottawa Senators attend the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Number 3: Erik Karlsson & Francis Perron for Chris Tierney, Dylan Demelo, Rudolfs Balcers, Josh Norris, 2020 first-round pick & 2 second-round picks

Ottawa Senators
OTTAWA, ON – MARCH 24: Ottawa Senators Defenceman Erik Karlsson (65) waits for a face-off during first period National Hockey League action between the Carolina Hurricanes and Ottawa Senators on March 24, 2018, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Anytime an organization trades away their best player, and arguably the best player in franchise history, everyone and their mother knows that there is no way for the team to win the trade or even get equal value for the player. For that reason, and for that reason alone this trade makes the countdown!

Now, apart from the mere fact that the Ottawa Senators somehow thought that it was best to trade away the best player to ever wear the sweater (sorry, I’m still a little sour over this trade!) let’s look at the return the Senators got from San Jose.

Chris Tierney and Dylan Demelo came over as the only bodies with NHL experience in this trade (which was something Pierre Dorion said was important to him). In their first season with the Ottawa Senators, I think it’s fair to say that both players surpassed fans’ expectations. Dylan Demelo played most of his minutes with Thomas Chabot on the top pair and did not really seem out of place too often. He has a realistic shot at becoming for Thomas Chabot what Marc Methot was for Erik Karlsson.

The 25-year-old Chris Tierney had a career year in Ottawa, in what was his fourth full-time season in the NHL, with 9 goals and 39 assists. Tierney had an interesting role with the Ottawa Senators last season. Interesting because he didn’t really have a set role for the entire season. He spent most of the season playing centre in the top-9, but on some nights found himself playing the role of fourth-line centre. It will be interesting to see what DJ Smith has in store for him this coming season.

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Then there was Rudolfs ‘Rudy’ Balcers. The young Latvian forward was coming off his first season in North America at the time of the trade. The former fifth-round draft pick put up impressive numbers in his first season in the AHL with the San Jose Barracuda. That was followed up with solid production in Belleville this past season where Rudy notched 17 goals and 14 assists in 43 games. He also tallied 5 goals and 9 assists in 36 games this past season with the Ottawa Senators. Balcers should develop into a very solid and reliable top-9 forward for this team.

Josh Norris had his season in Michigan cut short after suffering an injury during the World Juniors this past winter. Before his injury he had successfully established himself as a top forward for the Michigan Wolverines, tallying 10 goals and 9 assists while only appearing in 17 games. He was a key piece for the Ottawa Senators in this trade and has all the makings of becoming an elite third-line centre or a very capable second-line centre in the National Hockey League. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s Brady Tkachuk’s best friend!

Then there are the three draft picks. One second-round pick in this past draft that was used to move up to select Mads Sogaard, and two to come in next year’s entry draft. Chances are that San Jose will be a playoff team again next season, so fans should realistically expect the first-round pick to come in the 20-31 range. But hey, it’s still a first-round pick!

End result: The Ottawa Senators clearly went for quantity over quality in this trade, which is fine. Not great, but fine. This trade qualifies for this countdown for the very simple reason that the Senators traded away the best defenceman in the NHL and did not get an A+ asset in return, just a lot of middle of the pack assets. Again, fine but not great.