Senators Rumors: Ottawa and Player's Agent Discussing Trades

The Ottawa Senators are open to moving defenseman Nikita Zaitsev. The team had recently sent down the player to the AHL and gave his agent permission to seek a trade. Zaitsev was recently called back up to the big club, but that hasn't changed the awkward situation between the team and the player.

Zaitsev is signed through the 2023-24 season at $4.5 million annually, and holds a no-trade clause which protects him against 10 teams. So far this season the production has not been there for the 31-year-old Russian defender as he's tallied one assist and a minus -3 rating in seven games. Last season he recorded 11 points in 62 games and often times made costly mistakes during the late stages of games.

The Senators will need to retain some money here if they're going to get any team to bite. The defensemen market is picking up, so trade talks are ongoing amongst a number of teams but acquiring an underperforming expensive blueliner isn't something management team's jump on too quickly.

The Arizona Coyotes are a team to watch here as they've made it clear they will accept bad contracts if it means the pot is sweetened. With Jakob Chychrun linked to the Senators, perhaps we see a trade package loaded with picks and prospects.....and Zaitsev, heading to the desert in exchange.

Photo credit:  Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports