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OTTAWA'S PERFECT FIT

Published on January 13th 2014

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The Ottawa Senators have signed GM Bryan Murray to an extension and he is open for business. The Sens, who are just outside the playoffs, will be looking to add immediate help between now and the trade deadline.

Quoting Murray "We're not moving Curtis Lazar, I can tell you at this point in time. But we do have a number of players that probably are deserving of playing some games or playing in the NHL that may not get a chance, because of our numbers up here, that we would talk to teams about for a more veteran-type player. We've got some young goaltenders coming, I think we've got a couple of young defensemen that look like real keepers, and there's a number of forwards in Binghamton right now and Lazar in juniors. We would make the right common sense trades if there was something there without robbing what would be our future."

Murray said today that the club will not trade Curtis Lazar, and young defender Cody Ceci is no doubt a keeper too. However, the club has a large number of interesting youngsters who may allow them to pry away some major help for the playoff run.

One player who might be of interest to NHL teams is 20-year old winger Matt Puempel. A 30+ goal scorer in junior, he's adjusted to pro hockey in the AHL and seems on his way to a 20 goal debut in the American League. His skill set from the Hockey News tells is he has scoring ability, a touch around the net and enough strength to drive to the difficult areas. He's a former first round pick and may be enough to interest NHL teams.

Fredrik Claesson is another player of interest. Based on what Murray said, I'd guess that Lazar, Ceci and Mika Zibanejad are the only off-limits kids in Ottawa or Binghampton.

THE TARGET

I think the Senators are a perfect fit for Ales Hemsky. The club lost Daniel Alfredsson under bizarre circumstances before the season, and could use a veteran with sublime skill and the ability to push the river. Hemsky's availability is due to a rebuild—something Ottawa should understand—and the time may be right for the Oilers to offload the veteran.

Hemsky's bubble is moving into "upper left" tangent, meaning he (along with Boyd Gordon and David Perron) is playing the tougher opponents this season. Now, they aren't getting the severe zone starts of Gordon/Smyth, but the two wingers have more offense to offer so that's just good business on the part of the Oilers.

Adding Hemsky to the forward group that includes Bobby Ryan, Kyle Turris, Clarke MacArthur, Jason Spezza and Zibanejad makes a lot of sense.

What would it cost? That's never been my area of expertise (believe me!). But there's a deal there, and the Senators are shopping.

Right now.

 

 

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