Ottawa Senators trying to unload a contract in their goalie deal

Robin Lehner

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.

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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

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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.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

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    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      I’d do it. I’d try to swing 57th + a prospect first, but I think I could deal with losing the 33rd for Lack. Either way, they’ll need at least two top four guys, or Lack will most likely nosedive like Scribbles.

  • Concur

    It amuses me that a week ago the ask from Murray was reportedly a 2nd round pick and a top-six forward for Lehner. It was laughable then, but now he thinks there’s such a market for his goalies that he can unload a bad contract too, presumably without taking one back.

    I wouldn’t mind adding Greening, he’s an ok depth forward. But it was clear that was a really dumb contract almost immediately after the Senators signed it. If Murray is expecting a team to take it on in it’s entirety when he couldn’t give Greening away last season, he’s looking at giving Greening and Lehner away for next to nothing.

    I wouldn’t be too interested in Legwand; I was a proponent of the Oilers signing him last summer but it seems they may have dodged a bullet there because he really looked done. But I could live with two years of Greening if it brings Lehner’s price down. You could always bury him in the minors next year or buy him out if he’s really bad. Klinkhammer and a fourth?

  • Oilfan69

    I wouldn’t be heartbroken if we just hired ramo as a UFA either as him and scrivens would work as long as all other available assets were diverted into the D corps.

    • STR8 SHOOTER

      I think there is a goalie there in Ramo. I know Willis has shown in a previous article that Ramos numbers aren’t the greatest but with such a deep draft this year to me I’d rather not lose an asset for a goalie unless absolutely necessary.

      Next year Scrivens, Purcell, Gordon, and Nikitin contracts come off the books. Chiarelli should make his mark next off season with a lot more cap space.

  • freelancer

    If I had to choose one of those contracts I suppose I would take one year of Legwand over Greening. However if I had to spend 3 million+ on bringing in a forward I would rather it be Soderberg.Still think Talbot is top of Chiareli’s list.

  • Ready to Win

    While I am firmly in the Talbot camp right now, the thought of sticking Greening on a line with Hall and McDavid (both for a physical presence and a defensive one) sounds appealing, especially if taking Greening means that the price of Lehner goes down.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    ^all good points guys, but PC is a pretty smart GM, not mistake free but smart, and with the Oilers at least, we have an ace in the hole sort of speak with us also apparently interested in Cam Talbot (and d-man Kevin Klein too?), as well as possibly Lack or Markstrom in Vancouver, plus there is the UFA market with possibilities of Niemi, Enroth, Neuvirth, and Ramo. we have plenty of choices, so if we don’t like what we hear from Murray, we move on. Murray might think his goalies have this fabulous value, but i don’t and likely the rest of the league doesn’t.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    The more I think about it the oil should just wait to fix the goaltending until after the draft. There are a lot of options out there and the price will go down with waiting. We can sign a UFA or trade with next years 2nd rounder.

    I am confident we can find the right option at a cheaper price. Lets squeeze our possible trading partners like they did to us with Petry.

  • D

    With Legwand and Greening both being centres, this would have been more palatable last year. But the Oil went from weak to strong at centre in a real hurry, so taking on up to a total of $4.8 to $5.2 million in extra salary (depending on how much Ottawa retains) for Robin Lehner does not sound like the best idea.

  • Serious Gord

    Surely there is a better way to get a middle of the road goalie than this.

    The priority should be on improving the defence and then making the team tougher.

    Goaltending should be seen as a temporary fix – with a longer term acquisition say two years from now.

  • bradleypi

    If anybody should be dumping salary it’s the oilers. Purcells salary comes to mind right away. There’s no way PC is gonna take on salary just to acquire a goalie. Especially with limited cap space. The Oilers have enough forwards to ice a competitive team after drafting connor. I know oilersnation doesn’t think so. At this point of the rebuild taking on unnecessary salary is absolutely ridiculous imo

    • radicator

      I agree.
      The only kind of forward I would spend more money on right now is a bigger body that can keep up with our top two lines. So unless someone like Lucic can be had (unlikely), save the cap space for a top pairing D.

  • Joy S. Lee

    I’m in agreement with others before me:

    Keep and use our picks unless the offers are too good to pass on. 16th and 33rd picks DO have the potential to turn pro in their first year, especially in a deep draft. Hell, I’d personally be happy with more picks, but the scouts have to get it right, and then on July 1, F/A First blood: sign Ramo.

    The new influx of youth will be the platform from which the current stable of youth can be plucked from (position of strength) to obtain greater assets.

    With the vast alterations already coming to the Oilers’ roster without doing anything, it’s likely prudent to be patient and willing waiting for the right deal. Chiarelli is in a very good position, and I expect he’ll use that to his advantage, so I’m comfortable that it’ll turn out. But I do hope we continue building more youth into the system, since that’s the recent Oiler philosophy (and mine, too) I can hardly wait to see what happens with the new additions already coming, let alone obtaining another vital piece or two, but this will be ultra-interesting.

  • kawi460

    The only player I’d really like to have would be Chris Neil

    4th line of Hens/Gordon/Neil would be tough and defensively responsible.

    Neil could add leadership to the young team.

  • kawi460

    The only player I’d really like to have would be Chris Neil

    4th line of Hens/Gordon/Neil would be tough and defensively responsible.

    Neil could add leadership to the young team.

  • kawi460

    Willis,

    Why aren’t we talking about Anderson instead of Lehner?

    I would much rather take on Greening and Anderson and have more certainty of a solid starter in Anderson for the next couple of years.

    I don’t think the Oilers should take any more gambles on goaltending. Get a solid starter and then bring in a young unproven guy like Lack to be mentored and brought along slowly.

  • YakCity1039

    Wouldn’t give up draft picks, especially this year, for a goalie like Talbot, Lack, or Lehner. Just sign one in FA, a guy like Neuvrith or Ramo and be done with it.

  • Zarny

    My sister wanted a pony for her birthday once too.

    Murray has very little leverage. I doubt any team has Lehner or Anderson at the top of their wish list.

    Certainly no thanks to Greening or Legwand; unless Murray wants to take Nikitin back in return at full cost.

  • radicator

    What about Cowen? Is he just simply done as an NHL defenceman or can he still turn it around?? He’s a big dman and still young. No idea what the contract is on him, but Ottawa seems to want out from him too.

  • Tikkanese

    If it’s Craig Anderson coming then sure bring on another bad salary but otherwise there is no need to waste assets on gamble backup goalies when there are plenty of arguably equal calibre available as UFAs and even a couple UFA proven starters as well.

    They need all those assets for acquiring D since the UFA D are not great and will be way overpaid.

  • JackB

    Why even talk to Ottawa? Lehner will probably be no better of a chance than Scrivens was!! They had similar numbers as back-ups, plus there is the concussion issues with Lehner.

    We should only be talking to Ottawa if we want a proven starter (Anderson)