One of the best parts of being a sports fan is talking trade. What hockey fan hasn’t fantasized about being a GM?
Last season much of the talk revolved around Erik Karlsson with fans speculating on where he should go and what we should get back. After he was traded, we debated about whether we got a good enough return. This debate will likely go on for years as we see how successful Karlsson is with the Sharks and how well our prospects pan out.
So now that we’re in a new decade and the trade deadline is looming, I thought it would be fun to go down memory lane and look back at some of the best and worst trades the Ottawa Senators have made over the past ten years. In this article I’ll discuss what I believe were their best trades. Within the next week, I’ll write about their worst. Obviously these are only my opinions so feel free to offer yours.
1) December 17, 2011. Ottawa Senators trade David Rundblad and a 2nd round pick to Phoenix Coyotes for Kyle Turris.
After only playing 24 games for the Ottawa Senators, highly regarded prospect David Rundblad was traded for disgruntled center Kyle Turris. Turris developed into one of Ottawa’s best and most popular players while Rundblad only played 26 games for Phoenix before being traded to Chicago. He spent most of his tenure languishing in the AHL before going to Europe and is now widely regarded as a first round bust.
This is one of the best trades Ottawa ever made. It also redeemed a bad trade when they acquired Rundblad from the St. Louis Blues at the 2010 entry draft for their 1st pick, 16th overall. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but St. Louis used that pick to draft Vladimir Tarasenko. Ouch! Would the Senators have drafted Tarasenko had they kept the pick? We’ll never know. But it’s interesting how Rundblad was involved in two major trades when he barely spent any time here.
2) February 18, 2011. Ottawa Senators trade Brian Elliott to Colorado Avalanche for Craig Anderson.
Elliott had his moments, but the Senators were never sold on him being a legitimate number goaltender so they traded him to Colorado for Craig Anderson. The Senators thought Anderson would serve as a better mentor for goaltender of the future Robin Lehner. Anderson was 30 years old when he was acquired so nobody thought of him as the goalie of the future.
However he continued to defy age and would eventually accumulate the most wins in Senators history. Considering how important goaltending is, this trade was a win. On a side note, Anderson’s stellar play allowed the Senators to trade Lehner to Buffalo for a first round pick that was used to select Colin White. Another win!
3) February 24, 2019. Ottawa Senators trade Ryan Dzingel to Columbus Blue Jackets for Anthony Duclair and two 2nd round picks.
As part of the 2018-2019 fire sale, the Sens traded Dzingel who was on pace for a 30 goal season. He was about to become a UFA and the Senators didn’t seem all that interested keeping him while Dzingel didn’t seem all that interested in re-signing. So the Sens traded him for talented, but struggling winger Anthony Duclair who had recently been called out by coach John Torterella as somebody who couldn’t play.
Duclair needed a fresh start and the Senators gave him one. Since the trade, Duclair has 29 goals and 48 points in 74 games while Dzingel has 12 goals and 41 points in 74 games points between Columbus and Carolina where he signed as a free agent. Considering Duclair is three years younger and the Senators also snagged two 2nd round picks, this trade was a steal. Thank you John Torterella!
4) July 1, 2019. Ottawa Senators trade Cody Ceci to Toronto Maple Leafs for Nikita Zaitsev and Connor Brown.
The Senators took advantage of the Leafs cap situation and traded polarizing defenceman Cody Ceci. Ceci played a lot of minutes, but was prone to making too many mistakes. He had a career +/- of -60 during his time in Ottawa. The Senators received struggling defenceman Nikita Zaitsev and forward Connor Brown.
Since the trade Brown has been one of Ottawa’s better players with 34 points in 54 games. That may not seem like much, but he’s one of Ottawa’s leading scorers. More importantly he’s serving as a mentor to younger players like Colin White and Brady Tkachuk.
It’s a role he’s familiar with as he served as a mentor to Connor McDavid back in junior. Considering Brown’s solid play and the fact that Zaitsev with 9 points in 41 games is outplaying Ceci who only has 8 points in 54 games with Toronto, this was another good trade.
5) September 13, 2018. The Senators trade Erik Karlsson and Francis Perron to San Jose for Chris Tierny, Dylan Demelo, Josh Norris, Rudolfe Balcers and a 1st round pick in 2020.
This is probably my most controversial selection. After a year of speculation, the King was traded. Karlsson wasn’t happy with the direction of the team and felt he could make more money elsewhere. The Sens had to trade him or lose him for nothing. Since the trade, the Sens have been terrible and attendance has suffered.
Yet I believe this trade is a win when you look at the long term impact. Tierny and Demelo are decent, but the prizes are the prospects. Particularly Josh Norris and the 2020 1st round pick. San Jose is not playing well so their pick could be pretty high, perhaps in the top 5. It could even be 1st overall. The Senators received a lot of good assets which is what you need when you’re in rebuild.
If the Sharks offered to reverse this trade and offered Karlsson (who is 30 years old) for Tierny, Demelo, Norris, Balcers and a return of their 2020 1st round pick, the Senators would be crazy to accept it. Personally, I wouldn’t trade the first round pick straight up for Karlsson. In three seasons this trade will look really good.
There’s my top 5 list. Feel free to debate and offer your opinions. Come back in the next few days as I’ll offer my take on the Ottawa Senators worst trades of the past decade. Unfortunately for that list, there’s a lot to choose from.