NHL Rumors: Senators Willing To Give Up A Lot To Trade Zaitsev

The Ottawa Senators are getting desperate as they feel they are still within reach of a playoff spot and something has to be done to address their team. They are now 18-17-3 and seven points back of the second wildcard spot with a game in hand. They have played a lot better thanks to their goaltending and some of their forwards, but defence is still a major concern.

The team is happy with Thomas Chabot, Artem Zub, and Jake Sanderson, but not so much the rest. According to Kevin Weekes, the Senators are willing to trade a high draft pick or prospect to get rid of Nikita Zaitsev. This would not only free up necessary cap space to acquire a rental and address the needs on defence this season, it would also give the team the cap flexibility to re-sign Alex Debrincat who is an upcoming RFA.

Zaitsev has a cap hit of $4.5 million until the end of next season and has been a non-factor for the Senators this season. The 31-year-old is in his fourth season with the Senators, but has never come close to the offensive production he had in his rookie season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He can block shots and deliver hits, but is massively overpaid for the role he plays.

The Senators have been promising to be able to pull out of a rebuild for a few years now and feel like the team they have needs that one more addition to be able to do it. They can't wait any longer, especially if they want to convince a player like DeBrincat to stick around long-term.

I would think a second round pick is the highest the Senators are willing to go in terms of giving up a draft pick, but someone like Egor Sokolov or even Alex Formenton could be in play.

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