Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion made headlines last season by trading Erik Karlsson, Matt Duchene, Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel for young players, draft picks and prospects. Still in the midst of a roster rebuild, he could attempt to move out one or two more veterans.
After tallying just four points in 12 games, Bobby Ryan was a healthy scratch in Sunday's 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch wondered what's next for the 32-year-old winger. Ryan handled the situation well, telling Garrioch's colleague Ken Warren he's focused on working his way back into the lineup. Warren, however, reports the winger's agents and Dorion are behind the scenes exploring “any and all opportunities” to find him a new NHL home.
Ryan carries a $7.25-million cap hit through 2021-22 plus a 10-team no-trade clause. Garrioch and Warren acknowledge it would be difficult finding any takers. The Athletic's Hailey Salvian believes it would take packaging Ryan with a first-round draft pick, something she feels the rebuilding Senators shouldn't do.
Garrioch also thinks Mikkel Boedker's days in Ottawa are numbered. The 29-year-old winger has appeared in just three games this season. He's slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and carries a $4-million cap hit, though he's earning $3 million in actual salary for this season.
While Dorion could attempt to move Ryan or Boedker, he's also in the market for a veteran forward to make his roster more competitive. TSN's Darren Dreger last week reported Dorion would like to make an affordable addition similar to his acquisition of Vladislav Namestnikov from the New York Rangers. The Rangers' limited cap space made it possible for Dorion to acquire Namestnikov. He could target other clubs looking to shed salary carrying forwards who no longer fit into their plans.
Garrioch reports picking are slim in the trade market. He claims Minnesota Wild forwards Joel Eriksson Ek, Kevin Fiala and Ryan Donato are on the market. Wild GM Bill Guerin signed the 23-year-old Fiala last month to a three-year, $6-million contract extension. Donato, 23, was acquired last season from the Boston Bruins by Guerin's predecessor, Paul Fenton. It was Fenton who also re-upped Donato in July to a two-year, $3.8-million deal.
Garrioch indicated Los Angeles Kings winger Tyler Toffoli could be available. The 27-year-old winger is due for UFA status next July but likely won't be on the market until closer to the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
SHOULD DEVILS PURSUE RAANTA?
Lousy goaltending has been a major factor in the New Jersey Devils' disappointing start. Entering Wednesday's contest with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Cory Schneider and Mackenzie Blackwood combined for a bloated 3.78 goals-against per game.
The New York Post's Larry Brooks believes the Devils need an upgrade in the crease. He wonders if the Arizona Coyotes might be enticed into parting with former starter Antti Raanta.
Brooks points out Raanta, 30, has recovered from the lower-body injury that sidelined him most of last season. He's been relegated to backing up Darcy Kuemper, who's settled nicely into the starting goalie job. Raanta has two seasons remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $4.25 million. He also lacks no-trade protection.
It wouldn't hurt for Devils GM Ray Shero to inquire into Raanta's availability. Coyotes GM John Chayka, however, isn't under any pressure to move a goalie. With his club surging up the Western Conference standings, Chayka could be content to keep his tandem intact for the rest of the season. As of Oct. 29, Raanta and Kuemper combined for the league's second-best goals-against per game (2.18).
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