The demise of the Ottawa Senators might be greatly exaggerated.
They’re 2-1 since Erik Karlsson’s season-ending injury. They have a goalie in Craig Anderson who has been playing to Hart Trophy standards (8-4-2, 1.57 GAA and a .950 save percentage). They’re currently in a playoff seed, seventh in the East.
Frankly, there’s every chance the Sens use their considerable cap space to push harder for the postseason rather than sink down the standings.
But let’s say the Senators do slip in the Eastern Conference standings, to the point where they’re a seller in the beginning of April.
Already, the question’s being asked: Would Daniel Alfredsson accept a trade to a contender?
Two hockey scribes in the know have opined on the matter recently.
This will be interesting to watch. If the Senators fall out of the race, does GM Bryan Murray give the 40-year-old the option to try to go win the Stanley Cup? The Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins are both going to be looking for a scoring winger.
One team that I believe will show serious interest in Alfredsson, if and when the time is right, is the powerhouse Boston Bruins. With the trade of Tim Thomas’ contract, the B’s have lots of cap room to add pieces before the April 3 trade deadline.
The connections, of course, are obvious: GM Peter Chiarelli used to work in Ottawa’s front office and B’s captain Zdeno Chara is a former teammate of Alfredsson's. If there’s one team that could entice Alfredsson, I’m not sure there’s a better fit than Boston.
Know this: I don’t believe Senators GM Bryan Murray has any desire whatsoever to move Alfredsson, even if his team is out of it by April 3.
What’s interesting about Alfie is that he doesn’t have a no-trade clause, according to Cap Geek and Lyle Richardson. So he won’t be able to put the Senators in Sundin/Kaberle Deadline Hell – it would simply be up to Bryan Murray if he wants to flip Alfredsson to a contender.
The Bruins obviously make sense from a cap and personal history perspective; lineup wise, Boston already has Nathan Horton on the right side and either Brad Marchand or Tyler Seguin playing there on a given night. That’s no reason not to add Alfredsson, mind you.
The Penguins obviously have the greater need for a dynamic offensive winger, and GM Ray Shero hasn’t been shy about aggressively adding talent at the deadline in previous season. Sidney Crosby’s meshed well with Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis; would Alfredsson elevate this team like the Hossa and Guerin trades did for the Penguins teams that advanced to the Stanley Cup Final.
My money’s on the Senators doing what it takes to stay in the hunt, which means Alfredsson’s off the table. But the options will be there.
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