Previously I have looked at waht the Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets may have to offer the Rangers at the trade deadline. In this week's edition I'll breakdown one of the worst sinking ships in the league, the Ottawa Senators.
As you will see, the Senators are in the uncomfortable position of being obvious deadline sellers who don't have much value to offer:
Sergei Gonchar: He's likely available. But between his awful play and two years remaining on his 35+ contract he's an immovable object. Stay away Glen, just stay away.
Alex Kovalev: An expiring contract with a cap hit the Rangers could manage. As warm and fuzzy as it makes us all (or should I say some?) feel to see Kovalev back in blue, that ice time should goto Mats Zuccarello and Wojtek Wolski. But who knows, another injury here or there and things might change. He can be considered an option, but only if things take a turn for the worse.
Chris Neil: The Rangers already have Brandon Prust. Pass.
Milan Michalek: Again, that ice time should goto Wolski and Zuccarello. Not to mention his contract is entirely too big for a 40-50 point player (nice return on that Heatley trade huh?).
Mike Fisher: Solid all around hockey player but there isn't a fit with the Rangers. Even though he may very well be available, Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky do what he does better.
Chris Phillips: The only reasonable option the Sens could offer. Phillips has an expiring contract and could give the Rangers some extra insurance on the blue line. His QUALCOMP numbers indicate he faces the other teams best players on a nightly basis, but he's posted a -22 for the season. His +/- is a bit inflated considering how bad their goaltending has been (only three teams is worse) but still bad nonetheless. The price on Phillips will tell the story but with few valuable assets at the deadline, I would bet that Murray and the Sens have unreasonable expectations for the kind of return he should bring.
Best option(s). There aren't any. Goose Egg. Nadda. Nothing more than due diligence and covering all the bases. Chris Phillips is overrated and isn't an upgrade at this point in his career. The only option may be Kovalev but that's only if the Rangers lose another winger to long term injury and even then he likely isn't anywhere near the top of the list.
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to email me canyonofblueshirts (at) gmail.com.