The Senators have done some digging on the 28-year-old defenceman
Recently it has come out that the Ottawa Senators had kicked tires on a Seth Jones trade. This was discussed by Elliotte Friedman on the 32 Thoughts Podcast. When bringing this up, Friedman was quick to mention talks went nowhere, but just for fun let’s have a quick look at this trade and if it’s a good idea.
Why doesn’t this work for the Sens?
As Friedman had mentioned, any trade chatter revolving around Seth Jones coming to Ottawa quickly died down, but why? My thoughts are that while Seth Jones is a competent defensemen, his contract is extremely rich for the senators. The Sens have to re-sign a few key players this offseason including Alex DeBrincat, Shane Pinto, Erik Brannstrom, Tyler Motte, Cam Talbot and others.
Presuming that DeBrincat makes no less than his qualifying offer of 9 million Dollars, the Senators would have less than 8 million dollars to sign up to 6 roster spots. This alone is not enough to cover that, more so even cover Jones’ contract. At least not without making significant moves to ship out some unwanted cap. I’ll start by saying I do not think acquiring Jones is good for the team in the short, or even long term, I will explore the possibility for the sake of this article.
First (and only) contract Ottawa would have to move is Nikita Zaitsev’s. Let’s say his contract is moved either at the draft or during the offseason because at that point it would be for only one season. The Sens would definitely have to give up some assets to move this contract out.
Let’s say they’re about to convince the Arizona Coyotes to take on Zaitsev for the low price of a second round pick, the team then has to convince Zaitsev to waive his no move clause. Should that happen, that adds 4.5 million dollars to work with.
This would up the total cap space available to around 12.5 Million Dollars to re sign all the names mentioned above. That’s still without considering Jones’ 9.5 Million Dollar cap hit, bringing the number down to 2M in cap space to sign 6 players.
This 2 million dollars is not even close to cover the roster spots of a third line center, third line left winger, two bottom pairing defensemen and a backup goalie. Allow me to elaborate.
For the sake of this article, I’ll assign Shane Pinto to the final contract Jean-Gabriel Pageau signed in Ottawa (3 years at 3.1 million per year), as I believe it is a reasonable comparable for this exercise. Tyler Motte receives a 2 year deal at 1.3M, Brannstrom gets 1.5M for 1 year, a random free agent gets 1.5M to be Brannstrom’s partner, and finally the sens sign a backup goalie for 900k. This would still put the team at approximately 5.3 million dollars over the salary cap next year before accounting for the rumored 1 million dollar hike in the cap. This would bring our final number to Ottawa being 4.3 Million dollars over the cap.
If Not Jones, who should the Sens Acquire?
Taking all the numbers I mentioned above, excluding Seth Jones’ 9.5 million dollar contract, the Senators can afford to pay a second pairing defensemen no more than 4 million dollars. While that may seem like a nice chunk of change, it definitely lowers the list of potential names than before.
Considering everything aforementioned the two names I would consider would be Dante Fabbro of the Nashville Predators and Dylan DeMelo of the Winnipeg Jets, as there are no defensemen in the 4 million dollar range that peak my interest, I opted to name two defensemen who make 3 million or less. Looking at either name, I’d honestly be happy with either one, but considering that DeMelo’s contract has one year longer than Fabbro’s deal, I’d prefer him.
While this little exercise was purely speculative and only meant for good fun, it helps explain how crucial this coming offseason will be for Pierre Dorion and his Ottawa Senators. Will he be able to have a second straight Hot Pierre Summer? I guess we will just have to wait to find out.
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