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Not so lazy afternoon! Trades, wins, and lightsabers!

February 20, 2023, 2:14 PM ET [107 Comments]
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Guest Writer: Matthew Moxley (aka Gord_Wilson_2.0)

Motte out. Gauthier in.
Before the puck dropped on the Blues/Sens tilt this afternoon, GM Pierre Dorion made a trade dealing Tyler Motte to the New York Rangers for forward Julien Gauthier and a conditional 7th round pick. If the Rangers advance past the first round of the playoffs, that pick will improve to the lower of the Rangers’ or Winnipeg Jets’ 2023 sixth-round pick.

Motte never really found his place on the Sens after a strong pre-season, and will try his crack at improving the depth of the playoff bound NY Rangers. Gauthier is a 25 year-old winger standing 6’4 and 225lb, and was a promising prospect from the 2016 entry draft. Taken 21st overall by the Carolina Hurricanes, he’s never amassed more than 9 points in an NHL season. Slot this trade in the ‘meh’ category. It’s a safe assumption that Dorion is likely not done wheeling and dealing as the trade deadline is not until March 3rd.

Sens Wars
The Ottawa Senators took on the St. Louis Blues this afternoon for a Star Wars themed game. The lightsabers in the sell-out crowd seemed to give the squad a boost of offense as the Sens won quite easily by a score of 7-2. Tim Stuetzle, Alex DeBrincat, and Brady Tkachuk lead the way with 3 points each. Stutzle again looks poised to become the Senators next offensive superstar. Each passing game, he looks more and more confident in the #1C role. Ridly Greig also notched his first career NHL goal in the game. Hopefully, this will be the first of many in the Sens uniform.

As nice as the big win was, it came against a Blues team who are in sell-off mode after shipping out the likes of Ryan O'Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko recently, and they elected to start journeyman back-up Thomas Greiss. Needless to say, the Blues did not look great this afternoon. I’m also not one for afternoon games or cheesy themes, but you can’t argue that the game today was a win for attendance. Great work by the organization. Especially considering the season has not gone the way many had hoped. This has to be exciting for any of the potential new ownership groups.

Sens For Sale!
There was lots of chatter surrounding new ownership and Ryan Reynolds this in recent days. As reported by Bruce Garrioch and Elliot Friedman, Ryan Reynolds has backed the Remington Group for a bid to purchase the Ottawa Senators. This seems like a promising bidding group as it was well-documented that the NHL wants Ryan Reynolds involved. Elliot Freidman did report that the Remington Group was previously involved in talks to purchase the Arizona Coyotes but ended up backing out. This leads to some speculation if the group is more interested in real estate than the hockey team. Friedman did say, this doesn’t seem a concern right now, but something interesting to note.

Sens Travel to Beantown
The Ottawa Senators won’t have much time to savour their lopsided win as they will face off against the Boston Bruins tomorrow afternoon at TD Garden. Sens can expect a much tougher test as the Bruins are 1st in the Eastern Conference by a fair margin. With that said, the Senators have beaten Boston in both meetings this season with an emotionally charged 7-5 win at the home opener and a shootout victory in December. Expect Kevin Mandolese to make the start.

Sens Fans Wish List
While it’s entirely possible the Senators can get a run going and find themselves in the playoff hunt, realistically speaking this team is looking for a fresh start come October 2023. There is no shortage of areas where this franchise can improve. I am curious to know how Sens fans would rank the following wish list items ahead of October 2023:
- Solidify the bottom six forwards
- Solidify goaltending
- New management and coaching
- Solidify the defence
- Re-engage fans and the community
- New building/massive renovation to Canadian Tire Centre (not realistic for October 2023, but plans)

How would you rank this wish list from most important to least important for the franchise? Is something missing? Let’s see some of your thoughts in the comment section.

Thanks for reading and looking forward to engaging chatter in the comments!
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