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Grading the 2020 Ottawa Senators Trade Deadline

Ottawa Senators Trade Deadline

If you’re an Ottawa Senators fan, you knew coming into this season what the end goal was. The best chance at landing Alexis Lafrenière. The Ottawa Senators 2020 Trade Deadline was another day to load up on the rebuild. Sixty-three games in and the Senators are third last in the NHL with 54 points. As it stands, the chances of landing the number one pick are 11.5 percent. The San Jose Sharks pick the Sens own sits at 8.6 percent.

When Trade Deadline day came knocking, Pierre Dorion knew it was time to get moving on the phones. Below, we’ll take a quick look at all the corresponding moves the Senators made and how well they scored on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020.

Trade #1: Vladislav Namestnikov

The Ottawa Senators 2020 Trade Deadline started early on as Dorion’s first move would result in forward Vladislav Namestnikov going to the Colorado Avalanche. Going the other way would be a 2021 fourth-round pick.

In 54 games this year, he has 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points.

Namestnikov came over in a trade that sent Nick Ebert to the New York Rangers, and Vladislav plus a fourth-rounder to the Sens.

For a player who is making $3.25M, and an Avs team who is sitting over $5M in cap space, this move highlights a cheap pick up.

While moving Namestnikov is something Pierre Dorion was willing enough to do, a fourth-round pick for next year’s draft is shallow. To be fair, no one was really expecting Namestnikov to fetch a first or second-round pick. But the fact that it is next year is odd. Whether GM’s around the league were willing to pay more is something that remains secretive, but it would’ve been pleasant to add to his array of picks in 2020.

Overall, Pierre Dorion managed to get an asset when it was all said and done out of Namestnikov during the Ottawa Senators 2020 Trade Deadline.

Trade #2: Jean-Gabriel Pageau

The next trade was one that was anticipated for some time in Ottawa. With his second move of the day, Pierre Dorion shipped forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau to the New York Islanders for a 2020 conditional first-round pick, a 2020 second-round pick and 2022-third round pick. According to CapFriendly, here are the conditions on the picks.

2020 conditional 1st round pick* (NYI)
2020 2nd round pick (NYI)
2022 conditional 3rd round pick** (NYI)
*Conditions: If the NYI win the draft lottery and select top 3, the pick becomes a 2021 1st round pick
**Conditions: The pick is transferred if the New York Islanders win the 2020 Stanley Cup
This deal was a massive win for Pierre Dorion on Monday. As it was suggested for a few weeks before today, Pageau was willing to stay, but ultimately the chips fell on that during Monday’s Trade Deadline. With Pageau looking to secure his payday on his next contract, Pierre Dorion had other things in mind.
With three first-round picks in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the Senators scored big. Many fans were hoping Pageau could fetch a first, and Dorion managed to do that. The fact that it is lottery-protected makes sense. This is just a way for Lou Lamoriello to protect his franchise from a late-season collapse.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau will always be a fan favourite in the City of Ottawa. But for the Senators, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to lock him up for more than half a decade. This probably isn’t because of the lack of skill, which he has shown to have over his years in Ottawa. It was most likely more so the term that Pageau was looking for.

Trade #3: Aaron Luchuk

Dorion’s third move in the Ottawa Senators 2020 NHL Trade Deadline had ‘AHL trade’ smeared all over it. After re-acquiring Luchuk just days ago involving a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs, they shipped him to the Montreal Canadiens along with a 2020 seventh-round pick for forward Matthew Pecca.

This year, Pecca 13 points in 34 games with the Laval Rocket of the AHL who sit sixth in the North Division.

As said previously, this deal is most likely for the Belleville Senators and their surge come AHL post-season time. While he did suit up for the Senators on Monday night, it’s hard to see him stick around with the big club. The guy is only making $225K this season, and chances are he’ll help Belleville’s depth down the road to the finish line.

While this trade didn’t blow the doors off by any means, Pierre Dorion did acknowledge that having an extra body is never a bad thing. Just because the NHL team is abysmal, it shouldn’t mean you disregard your AHL success.

Trade #4: Tyler Ennis

The Ottawa Senators 2020 Trade Deadline would cap off with forward Tyler Ennis being sent to the Edmonton Oilers. Pierre Dorion would go onto receive a 2021 fifth-round pick for the speedy forward at $800K. Ennis was a free agent signing the Senators made during the off-season. He brought his fair share on the ice this year. In 61 games, he scored a total 33 points, with 14 goals and 19 assists at the helm. Ennis was another guy that seemed likely to leave town once the Trade Deadline arrived.

For Edmonton, this is a great trade on behalf of Ken Holland. The team already acquired a fast forward Andreas Athanasiou, and then followed it up with another one in Ennis.

For the Senators, Pierre Dorion probably whiffed on this one more than he should have. Either no one was offering 2020 fifth-round pick, or he possibly accepted the first trade scenario that came through on his phone call with Holland. As much as fans love to see the Senators stockpile of first and second-round picks in 2020, the later rounds don’t share the same picture.

Again, maybe the market for a guy like Tyler Ennis wasn’t willing to give up a fifth-round pick this upcoming draft, but that seems puzzling considering some of the moves that entailed other teams overpaying via picks.

Overall grade: B

When the clock struck midnight, Pierre Dorion wrapped up the Ottawa Senators 2020 Trade Deadline with four moves. The Pageau deal is probably what gave the Senators GM such a big boost in his final grading.

Being active is what Pierre Dorion definitely was. Except, some of his depth player trades raised a few eyebrows. The good intent was there, but it seemed like Dorion took the first phone call regarding picks in next year’s draft.

The Senators goal for this Trade Deadline was clear – Acquire more assets for the foreseeable future. Dorion did that, but fans might wish he held the horses a little longer before going all out on 2021/2022 picks via return.

Depending on who you ask, he might’ve not pulled the trigger on moving other guys on the team. Without going into great detail, Ron Hainsey could’ve been someone who moved today too. Considering Christian Wolanin has returned from injury, it would’ve been delicate to see Wolanin slot his name back into the line-up.

Overall though, the Senators GM got to work and managed to score a big win with the departure Jean-Gabriel Pageau. While he didn’t prioritize his later round picks in 2020 with some depth forward trades, it was mainly that Pageau got Dorion the grading listed above.

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