The Sens Jump into the Fray

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    As the trade deadline looms ever closer, the Ottawa Senators have just completed the second major trade in the last few days, by sending San Jose’s 2009 1st round pick acquired from Tampa in the Andrej Mezaros trade along with center Dean McAmmond to the New York Islanders in exchange for center Mike Comrie and defenseman Chris Campoli.

    A surpising move to say the least, for a bottom five team to be giving up high draft picks. A shrewd move by the New York Islanders as they continue to stockpile picks in the upcoming draft. They will now likely be picking at least 4 times in the first 35 picks as they own their own 1st and 2nd rounders, San Jose’s 1st rounder, and Toronto’s 2nd rounder acquired via the Luke Schenn trade at last June’s entry draft.

    In this deal, Ottawa hopes to pick up some much needed secondary scoring in Mike Comrie, who was a disappointment after being acquired from Phoenix just 2 seasons ago. He’s only got 20 points on the season, carries a hefty cap hit, and is a UFA at the end of the season, so it’s tough to see much logic in this move. Then again, Mike Fisher, who was rewarded with a handsome 5 year, $21M contract from the Sens this past summer is on pace for a palty 29 points himself. You’ve gotta figure that Bryan Murray is under some intense pressure to get the Sens into the playoffs because his job may certainly be on the line. The firing of head coach Craig Hartsbug bought him a little bit of time, but if the team continues to struggle then the blame lays squarely on the shoulders of the general manager.

    The most intriguing component in this deal is probably the young defenseman being sent to Ottawa, North York’s own Chris Campoli. He’s a talented 24 year old puck-moving defenseman who despite showing much promise, has yet to translate that into stellar numbers at the NHL level. He posted 34 points in an impressive rookie season as a 21 year old, but has yet to pass 18 points since, in part due to injuries as well as sub-par play. I imagine that the Sens hope he can fill some of the void left by the departure of Andrej Mezaros to Tampa.

    It’s been widely speculated going into this trade deadline that due to the parity in the standings and lack of sellers, we could see rental players and so-so complementary players being moved for premium returns. And if the two trades completed by our Northeast division rivals are any indication, that seems to be exactly the case. A 20 point center, a 16 point offensive defenseman, and a young 17 point defenseman have thus far yielded, a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick. It just keeps on getting better.

    Always a pleasure,

    Alex Tran

    [email protected]

    ***

    From Michael Aldred:

    The trade:

    Senators get Mike Comrie and Chris Campoli.
    Islanders get MacAmmond and 1st round pick (SJS)

    What about the Leafs?

    This leads us all to wonder, with the amount of talent on Toronto compared to Comrie, and young guys who have the potential to be a Campoli type player – Schneider, a veteran presence on D going for a 2nd and 3rd – what can the Leafs get for their players? Surely, this sets the bar.

    With Antropov commanding a first round pick, Kaberle likely sticking around (or so they say) – I personally believe that to be a ploy to raise his value despite his injury – and guys like Ponikarovsky who can score more frequently than Comrie can (Comrie currently has 7 goals and 20 points this season) it really makes you wonder. If the first round pick is from this season, the Isles are certainly in a position where the Leafs would love to be.

    Let the games begin!

    Micheal A. Aldred
    [email protected]

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