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Marc Methot is no longer in limbo.
The Vegas Golden Knights have dealt the veteran defenseman – and who many believe was their most valuable trade chip picked up in the Expansion Draft – to the Dallas Stars for a second-round draft selection in 2020 and netminder Dylan Ferguson, who was just selected 194th overall at the NHL Draft this past weekend.
First impression: This a remarkable, if not, surprisingly low return – especially when you factor in the dread the Ottawa Senators apparently felt throughout the process of losing the top-four pillar which helped anchor the club’s surprise run to the Eastern Conference Final.
Methot’s vulnerability, and the Senators’ attempts to protect him in the expansion process, had a ripple effect in Ottawa. Senators general manager Pierre Dorion asked fellow defender Dion Phaneuf to waive his no-trade clause in an effort to keep their defense in tact, but he ultimately refused. Dorion was then unable to cut a deal with Golden Knights general manager George McPhee, who selected Methot to recoup value elsewhere, not have him log significant minutes on the back end during what could be several lean seasons.
It’s believed that Vegas’ ask was a first-round pick from the Senators to overlook Methot. The price came down, considerably, but apparently not enough for the Senators, who may not have pursued a reunion as dogged as we were meant to believe.
Methot is a capable defenseman, but his loss is significant for Ottawa primarily because of the rapport he had with captain Erik Karlsson. It’s not likely that his absence will diminish Karlsson’s uber talent, but there will be an adjustment and other defenders from lower in the depth chart will have to step into more prominent roles.
Now Methot could take on a similar facilitating function alongside another Swede, John Klingberg, who took a bit of a step back last season on the Dallas blue line.
Methot has two years remaining on a contract that pays him $4.9 million annually.
Beyond what it might reveal about the Senators, the deal definitely says something about the market value on the logjam of defensemen in Vegas. Methot is one of the few legitimate top-four defensemen acquired, and the best the Golden Knights could extract in return was a second round pick three years down the road and a goaltender they passed over 11 times in the draft.
Jason Garrison ($4.9 million), Alexei Emelin ($4.1 million) and Luca Sbisa ($3.6 million) are three trade candidates among 11 defenders remaining on the roster. Methot’s deal can be viewed as a benchmark that likely will not be surpassed in potential deals involving the collection of veteran defenders on the Vegas payroll.
Methot’s selection adds another lottery ticket, but the deal shows that the haul Vegas was to secure appears demonstrably smaller than first predicted.
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