Let’s Make A Deal

There’s been plenty of roster management scuttlebutt going around the Interwebs and the airwaves today so let’s get right to it…

1) Bob McKenzie penned an article for TSN that discussed the situations that each of the Canadian Eastern Conference teams are in. In regards to Ottawa, there’s not much that we haven’t heard before: Alfie and Karlsson are untouchable; Spezza, Kuba and Gonchar have bad contracts thereby making them difficult to move; and UFAs like Phillips, Ruutu and Kovalev could and should fetch something modest on the trade market. Blah blah blah.

What is interesting to note is that the names of Mike Fisher and Chris Neil were brought up as potential trade fodder. Obviously Ottawa’s in a position of strength in regards to trade negotiations with these players, since both have some term left on their respective deals, there’s no onus on the organization to move them right now. Considering that a Montreal acquired Dominic Moore from the Florida Panthers last season for a second round pick, it’s reasonable to assume that a guy like Fisher could net the organization some decent assets to move forward with.

It’s also worth noting that of all the aforementioned named candidates for trade, only one – Phillips – was signed by Murray’s predecessor. It’s a classic example of a general manager who is selling low on players.

2) As an individual who is being championed as a candidate for the GM position here in Ottawa, today’s TGOR interview with Pierre McGuire featured some interesting fodder for discussion. Of significance, he said that as the GM of the Senators, he would not hesitate to send an offer sheet Zach Parise’s way this summer.

If you’re wondering what the compensation would be to ink a restricted free agent to an offer sheet, here it is (courtesy of NHLSCAP.com):

Amount

Compensation Due

$863,156 or less

None

$863,156 – $1,307,812

3rd round pick

$1,307,812 – $2,615,625

2nd round pick

$2,615,623 – $3,923,437

1st and 3rd round pick

$3,923,437 – $5,231,249

1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick

$5,231,249 – $6,539,062

Two 1st’s, one 2nd, one 3rd round pick

$6,539,062 or more

Four 1st round picks

Let’s assume for a second that Pierre actually gets the GM position this summer. For the first time in years, there is a fan base here in Ottawa that is yearning for a rebuild and for the organization to do build a perennial contender from the ground up. Although there are a reasonable number of decent prospects in the system, the dearth of high-end offensive prospects leads me to believe that Ottawa doesn’t have enough in terms of current value guys to absorb the loss of two firsts, one second, one third OR four 1st round picks.

Maybe it’s this radio bravado or willingness to create some buzz but I was surprised to hear eager Pierre was to discuss the offer sheet without truly acknowledging its ramifications for the future. I realize that Pierre has verbally fellated Zach Parise since the prospect was sliding down the 2003 Entry Draft Board, but this kind of quick fix mentality is the reason why Ottawa’s in their current situation. Besides, from our experience ripping on our Leaf fan brethren for the infamous Phil Kessel deal, we should know better by now. (As an aside, let me say that I recognize that Zach Parise is 1,200 times the hockey player Phil Kessel is.)

I think one of the benefits that any incoming GM has is that the fan base here is willing to be patient. There isn’t that pressure to make a major move right away that we can measure against them and inevitably starts the clock that counts down to their dismissal.

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