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Why the Ottawa Senators Haven't Acquired a Defenseman Yet

The Ottawa Senators are trying to upgrade their defense, but they're keeping the long term in mind for the trade cost and the salary cap implications.
Thomas Chabot

The Ottawa Senators' need for blueline depth took on greater urgency with Thomas Chabot sidelined for at least a week with a concussion. GM Pierre Dorion indicated earlier this week that he's “very active” in looking for help in the trade market.

Following Chabot's injury last Saturday, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Dorion had been shopping for a blueliner since the summer. He indicated the Senators GM didn't want to rush into anything and make a desperate move that would have long-term consequences for his club.

Friedman also suggested the number of players around the league with no-trade clauses for Canadian NHL teams is a stumbling block for the Senators. On Wednesday, he said he believed there was a potential deal involving the Sens that was vetoed by the player.

The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reported the Senators remain among several clubs linked to the Arizona Coyotes' Jakob Chychrun. The 24-year-old defenseman is slated to return to action next week following off-season wrist surgery. However, the Coyotes' high asking price for Chychrun could prove too expensive for Dorion.

Some observers wondered if a reunion with Erik Karlsson was possible after San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier said he was willing to listen to offers for the 32-year-old defenseman. Karlsson spent nine seasons with the Senators and still maintains a home in the Ottawa area.

Friedman believes the Senators and Sharks have talked about it. However, he thinks the Senators would lack sufficient long-term cap space to acquire Karlsson even if the Sharks retain 50 percent of his $11.5 million average annual value. That's because they have Alex DeBrincat, Artem Zub and Shane Pinto to re-sign.

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