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Senators Trade at the Deadline

It's just after 3:30 pm, so the NHL trade deadline has come and gone. Some trades will still come down through the wire, as long as they got filed before 3:00 pm, filtering out to the media, so it's not quite over yet per se, but the Ottawa Senators are done trading for the day, according to the folks at TSN.

The Senators made one move, though not the move I expected. They traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Cory Conacher and a 4th round pick. (You can read about the trade in various places on the internet, so I'll not go into detail here.) As noted in an earlier journal entry, I had expected Ottawa to go looking for a top 6 forward, and in some ways they got that in Conacher, though he's a rookie in the league and not an established veteran. While Conacher is now the leading point getter on the Ottawa Senators team, as fact noted with irony by the TSN commentators, the fact of the matter is that he produced on a line with Vincent Lecavalier (now injured) and Martin St. Louis. Conacher is a smaller player, which may be a disadvantage in the Senators' division against the other teams they play against, but he's fast, so has some good potential. And you know what they say about good things coming in small packages. Yvan Cournoyer, Martin St. Louis anyone? :) While his plus/minus rating is pretty bad, he's not shown himself to be a defensive guy although I think he'll benefit under the Senators coach, as the Ottawa system does emphasise solid defensive play in one's own end.

Insofar as Ben Bishop is concerned, I can't say his departure was a surprise. Craig Anderson is back from injury and likely to start playing again in one of the games this weekend, and Robin Lehner is the Sens goalie of the future, so Bishop became expendable. He performed heroically in the games he played in for Ottawa this year, having a trio of real stinkers, but was solid otherwise, and folks here in Ottawa will miss his size in goal and potential.

I don't think that whether this trade is a good one or bad one for Ottawa will be known for a couple of years, as both Conacher and Bishop have potential. The ultimate irony is that Ottawa plays in Tampa Bay (next Tuesday, I think), and Bishop could be in goal for the Lightning against the Senators. Possibly against Lehner. That will be interesting, to say the least.


John Kahane

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September 2022



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