Insider: Senators To Look At Trading Two Key Newcomers

Just about everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong for the Ottawa Senators this season, from player suspensions to revoked draft picks to fired coaches to just some woeful play on the ice. They’re sitting with the worst record in the Eastern Conference at 14-19. With the trade deadline just two months away, it’s starting to become more and more apparent what direction this season is heading.

“It’s tough there right now… They got absolutely steamrolled by the Vancouver Canucks (Tuesday night). You’re sitting there and you’re just in shock. I think Ottawa’s got some really, really big decisions to make,” said NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman on The Jeff Marek Show.

“If you're Ottawa, you're looking at sell-off options. And Vladimir Tarasenko and Dominik Kubalik are probably the two biggest names on your list."

Tarasenko was the Senators' big free agent signing in the off-season on a one-year, $5 million deal. He has 24 points on 8 goals and 16 assists thus far in 31 games, but he also has six 30-goal campaigns on his résumé — in his last six fully healthy seasons. 

Last year in 69 games, Tarasenko registered 18 goals and 50 points split between the New York Rangers and the St. Louis Blues. He was coming off an eight-year contract with a $7.5 million AAV, and was one of the last big free agents standing this past summer before settling on his $5 million deal with Ottawa. Now, he could be on the move again. 

Another former 30-goal scorer, Dominic Kubalik was acquired in the summer, in the Alex DeBrincat trade with the Detroit Red Wings. So far he's been a bit of a disappointment with the Senators with just eight goals and 10 points in 33 games.

Kubalik will also be an unrestricted free agent after the season and carries a much more reasonable cap hit of $2.5 million. Last year in the Motor City, he notched 20 goals and 45 points in 81 games. He finished 3rd in the Calder voting in his rookie season in 2019-20 when he broke through for 30 goals for the Chicago Blackhawks after being a seventh-round draft pick by the LA Kings in 2013. At his affordable cap hit, there’s bound to be several teams interested, hoping that he can rekindle his past scoring exploits.

It’s been quite the explosive season in Ottawa, with more fireworks undoubtedly to come. 

Photo:  Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports