What's next for Dorion and the Senators?
The National Hockey League's Trade Deadline is on Monday, Feb. 26, and teams will be making decisions on whether to buy or sell and decide which players can make the biggest difference and hold the greatest value. Check out the latest trade rumours and speculation from around the NHL beat.
More To Follow
After trading Dion Phaneuf to the Los Angeles Kings, Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion hinted more moves will follow in the nation's capital.
“We’re going to be doing a lot of things to make sure that we can field as competitive a team as we can, whether it’s in the near future or whatever future you want to look at,” Dorion told the media on Wednesday.
“But this is an exciting time for our fans because we know we’re going to do some good things for the organization. We know we’re going to do a lot of good things and we’re looking forward to it.”
Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Citizen reports the Senators are getting calls on Mike Hoffman, Zack Smith, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Cody Ceci, Johnny Oduya and recent waiver claim Magnus Paajarvi. Dorion said he spoke to nine different general managers on Wednesday, but cautioned no deals appear to be close.
“Nine GMs I talked to today and I wasn’t able to make a deal,” Dorion said. “Nothing is imminent, but (Tuesday) I didn’t feel anything was really imminent after my conversations from Monday.
“We’re going to take it day-by-day, we’re going to do what’s right for the organization. We have a plan in place. We know how we’re going to go about the plan. I’m excited about the future of this team and I’m excited about the future of this organization.
“I don’t think there’s much more to add.”
Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun his team has done little to convince him to be a buyer at the trade deadline on Feb. 26.
“Our team play is not good,” Murray said in an interview with The Athletic. “It hasn’t been. It’s been so inconsistent all year. We played a home game the other night against San Jose and they played the night before. It looked like it was the other way around.
“We just didn’t have a good team game. Far too many scoring chances and they controlled the play…The question becomes, ‘What am I doing here?’”
The Ducks (27-20-11) sit three points behind the Minnesota Wild for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference and are in a logjam with the Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings.
“We’re not the only team in this situation,” Murray added to LeBrun. “There’s a whole bunch of us that are, as I call it, stuck in the middle of nowhere. We’re not in. We’re not out.
“I’m still kind of waiting for them to show me something and they’re not. We’re very inconsistent. We’re very up and down.”
Eric Stephens of The Orange County Register argues the Ducks have failed replace Sami Vatanen since trading him to New Jersey to acquire Antoine Vermette and need for a top-four defenceman. Stephens also believes the team could also use a scoring winger to strengthen the position behind Rickard Rakell on the depth chart.
Looking For Depth?
Bob McKenzie believes the Toronto Maple Leafs could look to make a similar move to one the one they made last February and bring in a veteran depth centre for the stretch drive.
The Maple Leafs have used Dominic Moore as their fourth-line centre for most of the season, though Eric Fehr and Frederik Gauthier have also seen stints in the role. McKenzie believes the Ducks could emerge as a potential trade partner for the Leafs.
"Ideally, you do what you did a year ago and that is you bring in a Brian Boyle-type guy, but I'm not sure that fourth-line rental, Brian Boyle-type guy necessarily exists," McKenzie told TSN Radio 1050 Toronto on Wednesday. "I don't know if the Ducks are going to sell or not, but Antoine Vermette is a guy they'll get some action on. Anaheim's kind of in a weird spot... they usually are buyers at the deadline - and they could be a buyer at the deadline this year. They're one of the teams that gets associated with Evander Kane in Buffalo as maybe picking up a rental scoring winger. But, they may also be in a position where they look at themselves and say maybe this a transitional time when we need to get a little younger and start stocking the cupboard with more picks or prospects, so maybe we'll trade Antoine Vermette."
McKenzie argues, however, that the Maple Leafs' recent success after major lineup changes could give the front office reason to pause and stick with what has been working.
"I'm not saying the Leafs are interested in Vermette, I'm not even sure he's available yet, but I'm just saying there seems to be dearth of what the Leafs could be looking for - and maybe they'll conclude between now and the trade deadline 'hey you know what, Dom Moore has been just fine here.' The fourth line is playing pretty well with Kapanen and Komarov on it and the turning point of the Leafs season seems to have been when they took Matt Martin out of the lineup, put Komarov on the fourth line, put Marner on the second line and inserted Kasperi Kapanen full time.
"The speed of Moore and Kapanen, putting Komarov on there, has completely rebuilt the fourth line of the Toronto Maple Leafs and as such with Marner on the second line has really rebuilt all the lines. So, they could conceivably do nothing."
Moore scored his fifth goal of the season in Wednesday night's 6-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets while logging 10:59 of ice time. The 37-year-old has 11 points in 41 games with the team this season.