Finding the Methot for Thomas Chabot

OTTAWA, ON - NOVEMBER 27: team mates Thomas Chabot #72 and Ron Hainsey #81 of the Ottawa Senators defend against Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins as he tries to skate in-between them at Canadian Tire Centre on November 27, 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
OTTAWA, ON - NOVEMBER 27: team mates Thomas Chabot #72 and Ron Hainsey #81 of the Ottawa Senators defend against Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins as he tries to skate in-between them at Canadian Tire Centre on November 27, 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /
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3. Free Agency

Last year this was Ron Hainsey, expected to come in and provide the veteran presence off the ice while showing the kiddos how to conduct themselves as pros at the NHL level. While I would say mission accomplished in terms of character building and leadership, the on-ice product of a 3rd pairing, stay at home guy, well past his prime is relatively underwhelming. Now finding a steady D partner via free agency is not an easy task for Pierre Doiron.

Not many teams just forfeit their top-pairing defenseman to UFA and allow them to walk away. That’s why I believe if Ottawa uses this option, they will likely opt to find a “stop-gap” player that isn’t necessarily on most teams’ top pairing. I think that’s the straw they will have play to even attract a free agent to a rebuilding team. More ice time/larger role than they will likely get anywhere else. That brings me to my next potential candidate;

Possible Candidate: Chris Tanev

The Vancouver Canuck lifer will reach the end of his five-year contract at the end of this season. Now I don’t want Canucks fans hating on me, so I think it’s most likely that they find a way to resign the 30-year-old in the offseason unless he’s wanting a larger increase to his current $4.45 million contract.

That being said, I believe Tanev still has a few good seasons in him and is everything Chabot needs in a partner to take the next step in his development. With the uncertainty of the salary cap, Ottawa might find themselves in a favourable position this offseason of potentially acquiring a player they might otherwise struggle to entice.

Quite frankly the Senators could offer more salary than almost any other team in the league if they so choose. Tanev registered 20 points last year, tying a career-best number for him offensively but it’s his defensive ability and physicality that he’s best known for. A feature that Marc Methot was also best known for.

Next. Ottawa Senators: Time running out for Logan Brown. dark

He’s a player willing to be steady, stay at home, hardworking defenseman that allows his D partner to take risks offensively. Tanev provided great stability alongside Quinn Hughes this season, allowing the 20-year-old defenceman to put up offensive totals that most offensive defenceman will never achieve in a single season. Now credit to Quinn for being an absolute gifted talent but selfishly, I would love to see what a stable partner looks like on Thomas Chabot. If Ottawa is able to acquire the RHD I think it would be hard to find a better compliment partner for Chabot at least in the short term, next season.

Other options may very well exist but seem less likely, perhaps something surprising like a trade. Time will tell however I do believe this is something that should be heavily weighing on the minds of Pierre Dorion and company. Should they allow Chabot to develop with inconsistent, heavily faulty, defensive partners, he’s almost sure to hit a burnout and not achieve his maximum potential for when we need him most. “Unparalleled success” needs a maximized Thomas Chabot, case closed.