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 1: Kyle Turris, Andrew Hammond, Shane Bowers, 2019 first-round pick & 2019 third-round pick for Matt Duchene

Matt Duchene
DETROIT, MI – FEBRUARY 14: Matt Duchene #95 of the Ottawa Senators gets set for the face-off against the Detroit Red Wings during an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on February 14, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit defeated Ottawa 3-2. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Pierre Dorion and the Ottawa Senators mistakenly believed they could improve on their previous season of success by adding Matt Duchene. Pierre Dorion said at the time of the acquisition that he felt adding Matt Duchene helped cement the Ottawa Senators as true contenders and a team that could make some damage in the playoffs. Well, the exact opposite happened.

Pierre Dorion gave up a lot, and I mean a lot, to bring in Matt Duchene. Shane Bowers was the team’s first-round selection for the previous year. Andrew Hammond was a contract/cap dump by the team (yes, another one of those), Kyle Turris was shipped to Nashville for a top defence prospect, a potential third-line winger, and a second-round pick. The Ottawa Senators would have been better off just sending Kyle Turris to Nashville themselves and not worry about bringing in Matt Duchene. It would have definitely been better that way!

Oh, I almost forgot. That 2019 first-round pick was supposed to be the 2018 first-round pick. Thankfully, Pierre Dorion had the smarts to protect that first-round pick if the team missed the playoffs. The Ottawa Senators decided to keep their pick last season and select Brady Tkachuk with the fourth overall selection. Somehow, the team thought they were going to be more competitive this season and would be giving up a pick a little later in the draft.

I seriously do not understand how you can sit there and decide that it’s a good idea to let go of your first-round pick when you’re entering a rebuild! They knew they were going to trade Erik Karlsson. They had to have known that there was a good chance they would lose one of, if not both, Matt Duchene and Mark Stone. HOW COULD THEY HAVE THOUGHT THEY WOULD BE MORE COMPETITIVE?!?!?

Thankfully the Hockey Gods finally took a little pitty on the fans of the Ottawa Senators. The team finished dead last in the standings this past season and every time Sens fans closed their eyes to go to sleep at night all they could see was Joe Sakic laughing and relishing at the opportunity to pick first overall. Again, thankfully the Hockey Gods pitied us a little as the Colorado Avalanche lost the draft lottery and the pick fell from first to fourth. In the end, no harm no foul. Brady Tkachuk or Bowen Byram. I personally prefer having Brady Tkachuk on this team than Byram. But I can definitely say that my thoughts would be different if the Avalanche had walked away with Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko.

End result: Pierre Dorion and the Ottawa Senators went for a home run but instead found themselves fouling out. It sometimes seems like there is nobody thinking long-term in this organization. Every move is either made to save money or to put out a fire or more often than not for both those reasons! The unfortunate part for Ottawa Senators fans is that we truly can’t judge Pierre Dorion as a General Manager because you have to expect that more often than not his hands are tied by the frugality of the owner. I’m not going to sit here and say that he would be doing a much better job if he didn’t have as many monetary restrictions placed on him, I just don’t know what he could do as a General Manager not stuck with a frugal owner.

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Is Pierre Dorion the worst General Manager in the NHL? I can’t sit here and give a definite yes or no answer. I think, like most General Managers in the history of the National Hockey League, he has some trades and/or signings that he would like a do-over on. I also think it is hard to judge him fully because of who owns the team. Is Pierre Dorion really doing everything he can for the team? Could he be doing more but the owner won’t let him? I’d be very curious to know if there are concrete trades or signings that Pierre Dorion wanted to complete but Melnyk said no because of financial reasons.

It should also be noted and mentioned that Pierre Dorion has done a fairly good job of moving on from players before they truly fall off a cliff. Moving Derick Brassard and Kyle Turris when he did now seems like a good thing (even if Kyle Turris was part of that disastrous Matt Duchene trade). I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue saying it, not everything that Pierre Dorion has done as General Manager of the Ottawa Senators has been terrible. He has done some good things. It just seems that the bad moves are always worse than the good moves. Maybe that’s just the pessimistic side of the Senators fan inside of me coming out. But then again, this team’s history is what created and nurtured this pessimistic side of me!

Sens fans, what do you think of the five trades outlined? Would you rank them any different? Would you include another one instead? How would you rank Pierre Dorion’s job as General Manager of the Ottawa Senators? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below!