(UPDATE 2:39 PM)- The Ottawa 67's have traded Senators first round pick Cody Ceci to the Owen Sound Attack. Good for Ceci to play some meaningful hockey down the stretch.
The National Hockey League hasn’t yet made the new Collective Bargaining Agreement official and already rumours seem to be swirling a little bit around the Ottawa Senators.
While Bryan Murray and his staff cannot currently engage in trade talks, the team has an apparent need for defensive help and people around the league seem to think Murray could be active early on in an attempt to fill a hole or two on team’s blue line.
The need for defensive help would be a little less urgent if not for a couple of key injuries.
Jared Cowen had to undergo surgery on his hip during the lockout and will be lost for the entire season. Mike Lundin, who was signed in the off season to provide the team with some depth on the back end, suffered a finger injury and is likely to miss the first couple weeks of the season. That injury isn’t as severe as some are suggesting but he certainly isn’t expected to be ready for the January 19th start date to the season.
While Andre Benoit, Patrick Wiercioch- and to a lesser extent, Mark Borowiecki- have all played well in Binghamton and are viable options for the organization early on, you have to believe Murray will at least explore his options to see what is available via trade or free agency during the first couple weeks of the season.
There are plenty of names floating around right now but all are nothing more than educated speculation at this point.
Cam Barker, Kurtis Foster and Sean O’Donnell are all currently free agents and have been mentioned as options. Then there’s always the possibility Bryan Murray looks at the trade route, which could mean using the team’s depth at the goaltending position to bring in an experience defender.
Add to that the speculation that the Senators could be considering dealing Sergei Gonchar to the Penguins and it becomes pretty clear that the blue line is going to be an area to focus on early in this shortened season.
- While most seem to agree that January 19th is the most likely start date to the season, nothing has been finalized just yet. It’s is important for Sens fans to note that the schedule listed on the website is not up to date and will be revised once the league comes up with an official schedule. For more on what a compressed schedule might look like, check out this link.
- For those that missed it, Milan Michalek’s agent Allan Walsh shared a great story about Michalek’s reaction to hearing the lockout was over. Apparently the Sens forward was on the team bus of his Czech League team and asked the driver to pull over at a gas station as soon as he heard the news. Michalek quickly said his good-byes, grabbed his equipment and had a friend come get him. Safe to say Michalek is excited to come back to Ottawa.