Making his regular appearance on tonight's Bruins/Sens pregame show, Bob McKenzie was asked by TSN 1200's Ian Mendes about Ottawa's decision to carry eight defencemen and whether this surplus could lead to a move.
“I don’t think there’s any question that they’re looking for a defencemen. They’re also, I think, looking for a winger that maybe can play with Jason Spezza. But, keep in mind, anything that happens in Ottawa right now comes back with a lot of financial concerns and staying on budget and making sure that you’re not pumping the budget up too high. So, we’ll see where all that goes. I see part of (carrying eight defencemen) too is that sometimes when you’ve got eight, it’s cause you can find six or seven that you like and the extra guy gives you a little flexibility here and there. You know, Borowiecki came up and did a real good job of injecting a little life through the lineup and scored a goal - his first NHL goal. He’s kind of been a little bit of a catalyst there when they did go on a little bit of a run.”
There are those dirty words "internal budget" again. Suffice it to say, if Ottawa's seriously looking for another quality defenceman and a top six winger to compliment Spezza, I have to wonder what kind of prices the Senators are willing to play.
Having already moved their 2014 first rounder to acquire Bobby Ryan, maybe the organization will be pretty amenable to moving other 2014 draft picks. Considering how thin this draft class has been panned, maybe this is the avenue Ottawa will take.
On the other hand, the Senators have been a fringe playoff team for the past few seasons and they're certainly not inspiring fans with too much confidence right now. For a team that should probably be best suited building itself around its young core of Robin Lehner, Mika Zibanejad, Kyle Turris and Erik Karlsson, whether it's in the team's best interests to spread its prospect base and draft picks thin is open for debate.
The biggest fear right now is that you risk overpaying for a commodity now to fill a short-term need, since most teams will probably be unwilling to move a top four defenceman or a top six forward so early in the season.
Conversely, the counterargument is that if the Senators make a move and continue to struggle, there is still an opportunity for them to make decisions on a number of their veterans or whatever pieces they decide to acquire now. Whatever assets lost now can potentially be recouped later if you can find a market at the deadline when teams may be desperate to contend.
For what it's worth, Carolina, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, the Rangers, Los Angeles, Minnesota and Edmonton.had scouts in attendance tonight.
You can stream and listen to McKenzie's interview below: