The second-to-last place Ottawa Senators continue to trade pending unrestricted free agents, as they dealt Vladislav Namestnikov to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a 2021 4th round pick. The Senators previously acquired Namestnikov on October 7th for Nick Ebert and their own 2021 4th round pick. GM Pierre Dorion essentially traded Ebert for a half-season of Namestnikov and doesn’t have to retain any salary in this trade with the Avalanche. Following this trade, the Senators now have $7.5 million in cap space, which is likely to increase as Ottawa isn’t done dealing yet.
In 56 games played this season (2 with NYR, 54 with OTT), Namestnikov has 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points. As a pending unrestricted free agent, the 25-year old Namestnikov has a career AB score of +0.90 across a 5-year sample size, which is perfect for a depth player like he will probably be in Colorado. Namestnikov is coming off a -1.36 score last season but has three positive seasons in his career, including a +3.78 score with the Lightning in 2015-16. This season, Namestnikov has a penalty taken/drawn ratio of 13:7, and a giveaway/takeaway ratio of 23:22, with a -7 +/- rating. Under new coach DJ Smith, he is playing about the same number of minutes as his previous career average of 15 minutes a game and has been somewhat effective in that role.
Ottawa is certainly not done dealing yet, as they are still looking into trading pending unrestricted free agents Mikkel Boedker, Tyler Ennis, Ron Hainsey, and Craig Anderson. They currently sit ahead of only the Detroit Red Wings in the standings, as they have a 21-30-11 record, good for 53 points in 62 games. Ottawa has a large stockpile of draft picks in the upcoming NHL draft, including their own and San Jose’s first-round picks. According to tankathon.com, Ottawa currently has the 3rd and 5th overall picks if there wasn’t a lottery. Their own pick will have an 11.5% chance at the #1 overall selection, and San Jose’s will have an 8.5% chance. Perhaps if the lottery balls fall in Ottawa’s favor, they could have two Top 3 selections in the most loaded draft in recent memory.
It will definitely be interesting to see what else GM Pierre Dorion has up his sleeve this deadline day, as he has traded Jean-Gabriel Pageau to the New York Islanders for a 2020 1st round pick (Top 3 protected), a 2020 2nd pick, and a 2022 3rd if the Islanders win the Stanley Cup this season. It is rumored, but not confirmed, that the Islanders have signed Pageau to a contract extension. More to come on that deal, as we will be posting an article regarding our thoughts on it from both sides shortly.