Ottawa Senators Trade History: Best and Worst Trades of All-Time

The History of Trade is a mini series going through each team’s best and worst trades of all time. Each team has their own history and some may cross over, but the series will try to stick to each team. This article will focus on the Ottawa Senators trade history, finding the best and worst of all time.

The team from the Canadian capital has had their fair share of big names over the years. Despite this the Ottawa Senators have managed to avoid big trades, both good and bad. They have made some important trades though and with multiple cup runs, and possibly more in the near future, it’s a good time to look back.

Ottawa Senators Trade History: Best and Worst Trades of All-Time

Best Trade

Many Sens fans argue that the trade that landed the Sens Erik Karlsson is the best trade in franchise history. But seeing as it was a trade for draft picks it’s hard to say the would have picked the same players regardless. The best trade in Sens history is the one that brought the Big Z to O-Town.

The Trade

The Ottawa Senators trade Alexei Yashin to the New York Islanders for Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt and the Islanders first round pick in 2001 (Jason Spezza)

Traded Away

Yashin was the pride of Ottawa for seven years. He led the team in scoring every year he played, except the half the year in 1995-96. And coming off back-to-back seasons of 88 points or more, the Sens had a shining light.

But after he missed the entire 1999-2000 season the shining light was not as bright. As mentioned he followed that year with a 40 goal, 88 point season, but the damage had been done. The writing was on the wall and Yashin was soon to be out the door.

After the trade to Long Island, Yashin didn’t skip a beat. He put up an impressive 32 goals and 75 points, leading the Islanders in both categories. Things were looking positive for him, but then they took a turn for the worse. He managed to put up 65 points, but then he went and struggled in 2003-04. He only managed a paltry 15 goals and 34 points. Granted, it was in 47 games, but he produced below his usual standards. The next year saw a return to strong numbers but he never got back to his normal production.

After another less than stellar year, albeit still managing 50 points, Yashin decided he had played his last game in the NHL. He signed as a free agent in Russia with Yaroslavl. He played six seasons spanning eight years in Russia before finally calling it a career. Yashin will always be remembered as the 79-point rookie and never managing to reach his potential after a trade to New York.

The Return

The Senators came out like bandits in this trade and to this day it looks like a capital steal. The draft pick turned into none other than Jason Spezza. Although Spezza’s career started out slow with only 21 points in his first season. He followed that up with a solid 55 point season, finishing fourth on the team in points and goals.

After that, Spezza’s numbers took off. His next three seasons he managed point totals of 90, 87 and 92 respectively, while scoring 34 goals twice. Although these were the highest point totals of his career, the best Spezza was yet to come.

Injuries marred his next two seasons but he managed 84 points in 2011-12 after a full recovery. After another injury filled year Spezza scored 66 points in his last year with Ottawa. With 11 seasons under his belt, Spezza’s time in the Canadian capital was over and he was traded to the Dallas Stars for a collection of picks and players including Alex Chiasson.

Along with the pick that would turn into Spezza, Ottawa also received two players, Bill Muckalt and Zdeno Chara. Muckalt only played one season in Ottawa, collecting eight points, all assists, before signing in Minnesota during the off-season.

While Muckalt was not the best return, the Senators got a solid defenseman in big Chara. Chara had four seasons in New York before being sent to Ottawa. He only managed 29 points before breaking out in his first season in Ottawa. He managed 23 points during that season, with 10 goals. His next season saw him raise that point total again, putting in nine goals and 39 points. He would continue his point increase in the next two years, bagging 41 and 43 points respectively.

Unfortunately for Sens fans, that would be Chara’s last in the nations capital as he decided to sign with the Boston Bruins. His 146 points ranks fourth all-time by a defenseman in Ottawa Senators history.

Honourable mentions: Ottawa trades 2008 first round pick (Chet Pickard) and 2009 third round pick (Taylor Beck) to the Nashville Predators for 2008 first round pick (Erik Karlsson); Ottawa trades Brian Elliott to the Colorado Avalanche for Craig Anderson; Ottawa acquires Kyle Turris from the Arizona Coyotes for David Rundblad and 2012 second round pick (later traded to Philadelphia)

The Worst

While picking up team legends like Spezza, Chara and Karlsson in trades bodes well for the franchise, they couldn’t avoid the bad trades forever. The worst may still be haunting the team to this day.

The Trade

The Ottawa Senators trade Ben Bishop to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Cory Conacher and 2013 fourth round pick (Tobias Lindberg)

Traded Away

At the time of the trade, the Senators were trading a goalie who had only made 21 starts across two seasons. They had no idea what would happen to him when he moved on.

Bishop’s career took off. After playing only nine games during the 2012-13 season, Bishop took the reins of the Lightning crease and started 63 games. He won 37 that season and posted a .924 save percentage and a 2.23 goals-against-average. That was the start of a strong career in Tampa for Bishop. He would play parts of three seasons finishing with a .921 save percentage and a 2.28 goals-against-average. Bishop also managed 131 wins while manning the Lightning crease.

While he was eventually traded to the Los Angeles Kings Bishop is still haunting the Sens, despite having Craig Anderson.

The Return

The reason this trade is the worst in team history is because of what the team got back. The draft pick that the Sens received turned into Tobias Lindberg. Lindberg was never able to play a game for the Sens as he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Dion Phaneuf trade.

While that pick didn’t help the team directly, Conacher may have been the worst part of this deal. After the makings of one solid year in Tampa, Conacher arrived in Ottawa with high hopes.

But soon those hopes were a distant memory. He managed only five points in 12 games during his first year. He followed that up with a 60 game season in Ottawa, having only 20 points before being claimed off waivers by Buffalo. That ended his rather short Senators career. Conacher muddled in the NHL for parts of two seasons after that and eventually ended up in Tampa again.

This trade is bad all around for Ottawa, but the silver lining may be Lindberg’s trade to Toronto as Phaneuf has turned into a good pick for the team. Other than that, they really dropped the ball on this one.

Dishonourable Mentions: Ottawa trades Mike Fisher to the Nashville Predators for 2011 first round pick (Stefan Noesen) and 2012 third round pick (Jarrod Maidens); Ottawa trades Martin Havlat and Bryan Smolinski to the Chicago Blackhawks for Michal Barinka, Josh Hennessy, Tom Preissing and 2008 second round pick (Patrick Wiercioch)

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