NHL Rumors: The Ottawa Senators Have Options As They Look For A Top Center

Originally published by NHLRumors.com

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: While the Ottawa Senators have some decent depth down the middle, they’ve indicated they could be in the market for a top center this offseason. They will be monitoring the trade and free agent market.

The expansion draft protection lists need to be submitted by July 17th, so some players could be made available before then.

“A protection issue has to be pretty specific because you’re trying to make a deal to save a guy that you don’t want to lose,” one NHL executive told this newspaper last week. “You think you know who they’re going to take, but they’re not certain. There will be some teams that may want to do that because they want to protect someone else.”

It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Senators traded to move Chris Tierney. He generated some interest at the trade deadline. He could also be selected by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.

Shane Pinto could be ready for a No. 2 center, and they’ll need to decide if/when to move Tim Stuetzle to center or to keep him on the wing.

Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri will be eyed by the Senators. He has one year left at $4.5 million. After an eight-game playoff suspension, some wonder if his days are numbered in Colorado.

“I wouldn’t be shocked if Colorado traded Kadri,” the league executive said. “I’m not saying that Joe is shopping Kadri. I would say they probably found out they missed him when he was suspended, but Tyson Jost is coming along pretty well. If they can’t sign Landeskog, maybe they keep Kadri, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he moves.”

Kadri does have a no-movement clause.

Some other potential free agent or trade targets for the Senators could be:

Adam Henrique – Anaheim Ducks – Has three years left at $5.825 and had good chemistry with Connor Brown at the World Championships. Ducks would need to retain salary.

Jack Eichel – Buffalo Sabres – Sure the Senators could use someone like Eichel, but it doesn’t make sense at this point of their rebuild.

Sean Monahan – Calgary Flames – Two years left at $6.75 million. Would a change of scenery help after two down seasons.

Other options could be Phillip Danault, Dylan Strome, Sam Reinhart and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.