WRITTEN BY SENSCHIRP READER- Tony
The Sens still have to decide if they are buyers or sellers at this year’s trade deadline, but I think the Sens should make a big move to help the team in the present and in the future. To get talent you must pay the price and the Sens have a few pieces they could move to acquire a good-to-great young player.
I think the Sens best trade chip is Jared Cowen. The young D-man has been playing big minutes with Karlsson on the first pairing this season. He has had an up-an-down season and has at times struggled to find consistency. However, he has all the tools to be a dominant player in the league. Standing 6’5” and 230 lbs, Cowen can take over games physically when he wants to.
His rookie season in the NHL was a success as he was paired with the veteran Gonchar. Last season was derailed by injury and this season the whole team has been inconsistent. I feel with the emergence of Cody Ceci, Cowen has been made expendable to obtain a player to help.
In my opinion, Cowen has lost his place in Ottawa. He was a captain of his junior team and came into Ottawa as a leader. But since being paired with Karlsson, Cowen seems to have no idea what his role is on the team anymore. Karlsson is our undisputed number one D-man. As his partner, Cowen must support Karlsson (just as Methot did last season), but Cowen seems to want to jump up the ice and dangle a la EK65. But most times he gets caught up the ice and does not have the foot speed to get back into the defensive zone. And in the D-zone, he seems to chase more than catch. I think Cowen may do better in a new situation where he can be one of the leaders of the D-corps.
With Ceci, Karlsson, Phillips, Methot, Gryba, Corvo and Wirecioch on the team, and Borowiecki in the AHL, I think the Sens will be fine without Cowen. The pairings can line up like this:
Karlsson – Methot
Phillips – Ceci
Wiercioch – Gryba
Corvo – Borowiecki
I see this D-unit working as well or even better without Cowen in the line-up. But who should Ottawa pursue with Cowen as the trading chip? I think they should swing for the fences and go after Ryan O-Reilly.
The 22 year old center/left winger seems to be the type of impact player Ottawa is missing. He’s tough and goes to the dirty areas, but also has plenty of skills to put the puck in the net. I think he would be a good winger/back-up center on one of our top two lines playing with Spezza or Turris. The only reason O’Reilly may be available is because he had a dispute with the Avs management (albeit another regime) and that his up-coming contract may price himself out of the Avs payroll structure.
The Avs are in need of defense and Ottawa is in need of an impact forward. Cowen could line up in the Avs top 4 immediately and could potentially move up to top pairing minutes too. This is a bold trade for both teams and could be mutually beneficial in the present and future. I think the Sens should go after a big fish like O’Reilly and try to make a run this season while they still have their current core together.
Thanks for reading.