The Ottawa Senators have quickly become a team to watch ahead of the March 8 2024 NHL trade deadline. TSN’s Darren Dreger recently reported that Sens’ GM Steve Staios has quickly ramped up trade talks in a major way and is considering a slew of options. There are at least five trade candidates. Who is most likely to move?
While the likes of Tim Stutzle, Brady Tkachuk and Jake Sanderson are safe, there’s some interesting names being floated around as potentially involved in current discussions. Without further ado, here’s five trade candidates Staios could be moving out of Canada’s capital:
The biggest name on the list without a doubt and likely the best defenseman available leading up to the deadline. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli surprised many with Chychrun being listed in his top-10 trade candidates and if he is indeed available, there could be a blockbuster move coming from the Sens.
Chychrun is a true top-pair defender who can play either side and in all situations. He’s signed to a very team-friendly contract at $4.6 million AAV for this season and next, and he does hold a modified no-trade clause which protects him against 10 teams. So far in 36 games, the 25-year-old has recorded 26 points. It’s not often you see a defenseman of this magnitude get traded in his prime…twice.
Chychrun would fetch the Senators a top-six forward and a depth defenseman, or they could even go another route and package him for a stud goalie. It’s hard to say what’s out there on the goalie market right now that would suffice, but with Chychrun being a late addition to trade boards, and with the shocking trade out of Anaheim this week, anything is possible.
Speaking of netminders, Joonas Korpisalo has not worked out in Ottawa and will find himself discussed in trade talks leading up to the deadline. He’s owed $4 million annually for the next four seasons and so far this season has recorded a 3.67 GAA and .887 Sv.%. It simply hasn’t worked out as the Sens were hoping and now a trade has creeped into the picture.
Korpisalo has a modified no-trade clause that protects him against 10 teams and he’s only six months removed from signing a five-year $20 million contract. Just another Pierre Dorion mess that now Staios and company have to try and clean up.
The Sens don’t have much for goaltender depth, so it will be interesting to see how it’s all handled. A small amount of salary retention is very likely in any Korpisalo deal which lessens the burden for onlooking teams and will sweeten the pot for Staios. New Jersey continues to look for a veteran netminder but no word yet if the two sides have chatted.
Tarasenko will be asked to waive his no-trade clause and he’s likely very open to the suggestion. It’s expected the veteran winger will look to join a Stanley Cup contender for the playoffs.
He’s owed $5 million this season and is a pending free agent. So far in 34 games he’s managed a respectable 25 points and is coming off a 50-point season in 69 games split between the St Louis Blues and New York Rangers. The Rangers could circle back here after missing out on re-signing Patrick Kane.
Some other teams to keep an eye on include the Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes are trying to move on from Michael Bunting and perhaps there’s a deal to be made between the two clubs.
Another pending free agent who is expected to be traded, Kubalik comes in at half the cost at $2.5 million for the rest of this season and does not hold any trade protection. In his first season in Ottawa, the 28-year-old former seventh-round pick has registered 12 points in 36 games.
Kubalik is only one season removed from putting up 20 goals with the Red Wings, so a contending team looking for secondary scoring on their third line could take a flyer here. He won’t demand much for a return, however is a rental which should give Staios a chance to recoup a draft pick or add a mid-level prospect to their organization.
While Staios would like to keep his younger core players together, Brannstrom is a name to watch when it comes to Senators under 25 who could be moved. The big piece in the Mark Stone trade has yet to find consistent production in Ottawa and word is the organization’s patience is starting to wear thin.
Brannstrom’s owed $2 million this season and is a pending restricted free agent with some team control. We just saw a young defenseman moved from the Anaheim Ducks, so the market is heating up at the moment and the Sens could be next. Brannstrom has recorded 10 points in 31 games this season and has appeared in 221 NHL games since being selected in the first-round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
If you’re a Senators fan, you may want to hold off on buying any jerseys at the moment because there’s several trades on the way and your favorite player could soon to be on the move.
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