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The trade deadline is just nine days away, and there isn’t much more clarity in regards to the intentions of Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Dzingel. Considering it is this late into the game, I’d be surprised if any of them are re-signed, let alone two or three. I think most people expect all of them to be moved, but I can’t stress enough how absolutely ludicrous that is.
First of all, it was Dorion himself who said that trades can take weeks or even months to materialize, so even if he was just dealing with one
of these players as a trade chip, he’d be in a tough situation. But with three of them to worry about, he isn’t leaving himself much time to do enough research and get the best possible deal. Perhaps he’s trying to wait until the last minute to drive their prices up, but there is a massive amount of risk involved there because he might run out of time or he might have to settle for a sub-par deal because he was too focused on another player.
Secondly, moving three (potential) 30-goal scorers at the same deadline is unprecedented. It would be extremely rare to even have two of these kinds of players to move, and even someone of Stone’s caliber is rarely an option. In theory, the Senators should be getting a ton in return for these three trades combined, but Dorion might be in over his head with such a small front office surrounding him. Colin Cudmore says it best here:
There’s no reason why it should have taken this long to get a better sense of what was going on. Even for Stone, he has been eligible to re-sign with the team since January 1st, so there has been plenty of time. Moving three high-caliber players could net Ottawa a great return, but because this has never happened before, Dorion might not leave himself enough time to figure everything out and could easily back himself into a corner.
Thirdly, hockey is a dangerous game, and the Senators have five games before the deadline. There is a non-zero chance that one of them gets a long-term injury and submarines all of their value in a trade, which would be a fitting outcome for this organization. Hell, today we saw Ryan Dzingel miss practice because of something small:
Can you imagine the outrage if that was worse or if this snowballs into a bigger injury? Dorion is playing with fire by holding onto them for this long, and also by keeping them in the lineup. I’m sure the optics of it would be horrible, but it would make sense to keep all three of them out of the lineup until they are traded, especially if there is no hope in re-signing them. The lineups would be atrocious, but fans would be acclimated to what the team is going to look like very soon.
I’ve already resigned myself to the fact that these players will be gone, and the sooner that deals get done, the better because there is hardly any hope of even one of them wanting to stay. Hopefully Dorion is able to get at least one deal done in the next few days, because it’s not even these three players that he has to think about either---players such as Cody Ceci, Magnus Paajarvi, and Zack Smith could be in trade talks, but those will certainly take a back seat to the big 3 UFAs.
The longer Dorion waits, the riskier his situation gets.