It’s well-known that the Edmonton Oilers are looking to bring aboard at least one goalie this summer, and it’s equally well-known that the Ottawa Senators will need to trade one of the three they have. So reports of conversations between the two teams are unsurprising.
What is interesting is that it appears the Sens are looking to unload a contract in a deal involving a goalie.
TSN’s Ian Mendes reported on Thursday that Ottawa wants to include a veteran like Colin Greening or David Legwand in any deal for a goalie. Or, as Bryan Murray put it:
Well that’s what I’m trying to do. To make sure that when we talk to teams about the goaltending that we are adding another piece to it and it is because of contract. We might take something a little less because of that, but we think that a couple of the guys that we are trying to move can play on other teams as well. We just happen to have a group of young guys now that have taken their spots.
For those who have been following these trade rumours, this is a shift from what was previously out there. A little over a week ago, the Ottawa Sun reported that the Senators were looking for “a good, solid, young player in return and a pick in the top two rounds.” The price seems to have come down.
Does it make sense for Edmonton to take on a Greening or Legwand if it lands them Robin Lehner?
David Legwand is a familiar player and would have made more sense for the Oilers last year. He turns 35 in August and is coming off a 27-point season. He does have defensive value and he does kill penalties but at a $3.0 million cap hit he’s pretty dear; he probably has less value than Boyd Gordon at present. If the Oilers decide not to really push this year they could add him but if they’re anxious to get better in a hurry he’d eat up a lot of space.
Colin Greening is a big (6’3”, 210 pounds), physical (85 hits in 26 games last year) winger who has experience killing penalties and had a pretty competent run as a scoring-line winger from 2010-13. He’s 29 years old and if he rebounds he could be a steal. The problem is that he has a $2.65 million cap hit for the next two seasons and he’s coming off a year where he had just one point in 26 games.
Legwand’s deal isn’t that ugly; Greening’s would be palatable if the Senators retained 40 percent of the dollars or thereabouts. If a team is honestly convinced that Lehner’s 2014-15 season was an aberration and that he’s going to be a quality starter for the next five years, those contracts shouldn’t be major impediments.
That’s what it all ultimately comes back to. A year ago, Lehner looked like a can’t-miss option; he’s been solid over 48 NHL games over the past two seasons and was coming off a 0.938 save percentage performance in the AHL. Now he’s coming off a year where he had injuries and performance issues and he’s still getting paid like he’s a can’t-miss guy. There might be exceptional value there, but there’s no question it’s a roll of the dice in a way that even someone like Cam Talbot or Eddie Lack is not.
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