A few days ago I gave my opinions on the five best trades the Ottawa Senators have made over the past decade. Now it’s time to offer the five worst.
Ottawa’s trade record leaves a lot to be desired and is the main reason they’re currently one of the worst teams in the NHL. So with the trade deadline just a week away, let’s go down memory lane and analyze these deals. Obviously these are only my opinions so feel free to offer yours.
Zibanejad was coming off a season where he had 21 goals and 51 points in 81 games while Brassard had 27 goals and 58 points in 80. Sounds like a fair trade. Except Zibanejad was over five years younger than Brassard and was just hitting his prime. Why make this deal? Probably because Zibanejad was a year away from being an RFA and the Senators thought he would be too expensive to re-sign. Meanwhile Brassard had three years left on his contract. So it came down to money.
Brassard played a season and half getting a respectable 77 points in 139 games before being traded to Pittsburgh for prospect Filip Gustavsson and a 1st round pick (used to select Jacob Bernard Docker). Meanwhile Zibanejad has developed into a number one center who currently has 51 points in 44 games this season. He had 30 goals and 74 points last season, at 26 years old, he has plenty left in the tank. Imagine how good he would look in a Senators jersey especially when you consider the team can’t score.
So unless Gustavsson or Bernard Docker become franchise players, this trade will go down as one of the worst in Sens history. And to add insult to injury the Sens threw in a 2nd round pick because trading Zibanejad straight up for Brassard wasn’t bad enough.
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After coming within a goal of getting to the Stanley Cup final, the Ottawa Senators brought in Duchene as they felt he could be the missing piece that could get the Senators to the promise land. And it failed miserably. The Ottawa Senators imploded and became one of the NHL’s worst teams. Duchene was good, scoring 107 points in 118 games, but the Senators couldn’t win.
He was later traded to Columbus for a 1st round pick (Lassi Thomson), Vitaly Abramov and Jonathan Davidsson. So depending on how the prospects develop, this trade could be redeemable. Yet much of the drama surrounding the trade involved the 1st round pick. The Sens kept their 2018 pick and used it to select Brady Tkachuk which was the right decision.
This meant they had surrender their first pick in 2019 which could have been first overall. This created a lot of drama, but thanks to the lottery it “only” ended up being fourth. Colorado used it to select potential franchise defenseman Bowen Byram. So to summarize, the Senators traded Turris, Hammond, Bowers, Byram and a 3rd round pick to get Thomson, Abramov and Davidsson. Pretty awful.
3) July 5, 2013 – Trading Jakub Silfverberg, Stephane Noesen and a 1st round pick to Anaheim for Bobby Ryan.
The Ottawa Senators had just lost Daniel Alfredsson to free agency so they acquired former 30 goal scorer Bobby Ryan from Anaheim in an effort to ease the pain. After his first season, Ryan signed the biggest contract up to that point in Senators history, 50 million over 7 years. He’s been one of the NHL’s most overpaid players since with a contract that has made him virtually untradeable.
Ryan has been somewhat productive, scoring 262 points in 477 games, but he’s not worth anything close to what he’s making. Meanwhile Silfverberg has 265 points over 496 games. Their offensive production is basically the same, but Silfverberg is three years younger and much less expensive.
Also the Ducks used the first pick to draft Nick Ritchie who’s a solid third line player and is only 24 years old. No doubt, the Senators would love to undo this one. Of note: Stephane Noesen was drafted with the 1st pick the Sens received when they traded Mike Fisher to Nashville. Considering Noesen never played a game for Ottawa, you could say the Fisher trade was also a dud.
Bishop was a stellar AHL goalie, but had never been given a chance to prove himself in the NHL. Craig Anderson had recently gotten injured so the Senators acquired the 6 ft 7 inch Bishop to provide some depth. In his first season, Bishop played 10 games, going 3-3-2 with a 2.48 GAA and 0.909 save percentage. In his second season, he played 13 games going 8-5 with a 2.45 GAA and 0.922 save percentage.
All good numbers, but the Senators wanted to keep Anderson and felt that Lehner was their goalie of the future so Bishop became the odd man out. He was traded to Tampa for rookie Cory Conacher who had gotten off to a hot start for the Lightning with 24 points in his first 35 games. When he arrived in Ottawa he had 5 points in 12 games along with 3 goals in 8 playoff games.
Things looked promising, but the next season the wheels fell off as he only scored 4 goals and 20 points in 60 games. He was then placed on waivers and claimed by Buffalo. Since then he’s spent most of his time in the minors. Meanwhile Bishop has become an all-star putting up 183 wins between Tampa, LA and Dallas where he’s currently their starter. He’s also been nominated for the Vezina trophy. Considering these accomplishments, the Senators should have kept him. Or at least gotten more than an AHLer in return.
Hoffman was one of Ottawa’s best players yet found himself in the middle of one of the most bizarre off ice dramas in Senators history when it was alleged that his fiancé had been harassing Erik Karlsson’s wife on social media. The Senators didn’t want the drama so they got rid of Hoffman.
They originally traded him to San Jose partially because they didn’t want him playing in the Eastern Conference. That strategy didn’t work as the Sharks traded Hoffman to Florida the very same day. Since the trade, Hoffman has scored 57 goals and 116 points in 140 games. If he were still a Senator, he’d be leading the team in scoring by about 10 points. Meanwhile Boedker has 8 goals and 38 points in 82 games and has often been a healthy scratch.
The Ottawa Senators had to trade Hoffman, but they should have gotten more than a 29 year old who’s struggling to stay in the lineup. And prospect Julius Bergman is in Sweden and will probably never play in North America ever again. Oh well, I guess we can hope the Senators use the 6th round pick to draft another Daniel Alfredsson or Mark Stone.
Sometimes the best trade is the one you don’t make. Imagine how good this team would be if we still had Zibanejad, Turris, Hoffman, Bishop and Silfverberg rather than Bobby Ryan, Mikkel Boedker and a bunch of unproven prospects. There’s my top five. Feel free to debate and offer your opinions on what you think were the Senators worst trades of the past decade. And hopefully we won’t have to add Pageau to our next list.