Monday, January 19, 2009

In the event of a fire sale...

James "Jimbo" Mirtle released "An early look at 50 rental players", and his list includes four Ottawa Senators players. The list is based on players whose contracts are expiring and who're playing on "teams on pace to finish with fewer than 80 points: N.Y. Islanders, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Ottawa, St. Louis, Toronto, Los Angeles and Nashville." Here they are, with their MRI (Mirtle Rentability Index), followed by what I think about their possibility of being traded:

6. Martin Gerber: Are there teams out there looking realistically at Gerber as a possible NHL goaltender? Is there a market for goaltenders at all right now? If someone wants to take him, they can have him, but if not I think he'll be in the AHL for the rest of the season (if Eugene Melnyk doesn't have a problem with that).

9. Filip Kuba: The best acquisition that Bryan Murray has made as GM, and he's likely to be traded at the deadline or lost to free agency. The possible wrench in the wheel is that I was under the impression that Kuba had a no-trade clause that he waived to come to Ottawa, and I imagine that is still in his contract, but no one seems to be mentioning that. Still, Kuba is one bright spot on a dim team, and would be nice to retain, but he might demand a hefty raise (to $4.5M, if he's lucky). If he's out of Ottawa's range, the team would be best to get something for him than risk losing him to free agency for nothing. And, with his numbers so far this season, it's not unrealistic to expect Kuba to bring a decent pick and/or prospect in return.

25. Chris Neil: Neil has had a pretty good year this season, and it looks lik he's trying to earn another contract in Ottawa. If reports are correct, he wants to stay in town, but I don't think Murray will be prepared to offer him much of a raise from his current $1.1M salary, if any raise at all. Should Neil not get extended before the trading deadline, assuming the Senators are out of the playoff race, he could get a pretty good return. With Cody "Mr. Glass" Bass, Chaz "Greatest First Name Ever" Johnson, Zach "Bryan Murray's Adopted Son" Smith, and Jeremy "One Game in the NHL" Yablonski all waiting in the wings, and Jarkko Ruutu on the Sens' roster, there is room--technically--to dump Neil, but it would also mean dumping a long-time veteran who would die for the team and whose contributions to the community are significant.

29. Dean McAmmond: Oh, come on! Don't do it, Murray. I've got a McAmmond jersey, and I'd like it if he would stick around for a little while longer. Seriously, though, McAmmond would be a valuable role player for any contender to pick up, with a low cap hit, great penalty killing abilities, and the skill and speed to contribute on any fourth line. He could certainly bring decent return, but I'd still rather keep him with the Sens. I don't think it would be unreasonable to see McAmmond take a contract extension on similar terms to the deal he has right now, paying him about $925K over two season, and I think that's a great deal for a player who can contribute like McAmmond can.
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