Ottawa Senators fully committing to rebuild with Ryan Dzingel trade

Ryan Dzingel #18 of the Carolina Hurricanes. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Ryan Dzingel #18 of the Carolina Hurricanes. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Ottawa Senators are going all in on their rebuild after trading for Ryan Dzingel.

We had ourselves a trade in the National Hockey League on Saturday as the Ottawa Senators sent forwards Cedric Paquette and Alex Galchenyuk to the Carolina Hurricanes for forward Ryan Dzingel. It was a reunion for Dzingel and the Sens who drafted him in the Seventh Round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft with the No. 204 overall pick, and it was a clear sign that the franchise really are committing to this tear down.

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After all, the Senators have been historically bad so far in 2020-21 and they sit bottom of the NHL standings by quite some distance with a 2-12-1 record (this was written prior to Saturday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets), so the focus should already be on continuing to build for the future and adding pieces to their young core of players spearheaded by Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle and Thomas Chabot.

On the other hand, the Carolina Hurricanes should be one of the four teams to make the postseason out of the Central Division, so adding some experience and grit in Cedric Paquette to what is a talent-laden roster should help them down the stretch, while Alex Galchenyuk is a depth piece at worst and potentially a whole lot more if he can finally figure things out. I mean, if you read Carolina Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell‘s comments on this trade, then you will get the picture that he views Paquette as the bigger piece to this deal, but anyway.

Ryan Dzingel trade a win-win for Ottawa Senators

However, we are going to focus on the Senators and the fact that they seem to be fully committing to the huge rebuild job they currently have on their hands. As we’ve already mentioned, it has been a tough start to the 2020-21 season to say the least and they will be a Lottery team no matter what happens, with the front office no doubt hoping that the Lottery Balls fall the right way and they get awarded the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.

That is still some way off, of course, but the Senators can start focussing on the future now and I believe that is exactly what this deal represents. For starters, by trading both Paquette and Galchenyuk, the Sens have opened up two spots on the roster for young forwards in the ilk of Logan Brown and also ensuring that those already on the roster, like Drake Batherson and Colin White, see big minutes without having their development blocked by veterans.

Ryan Dzingel (18)
Ryan Dzingel #18 of the Carolina Hurricanes. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

Dzingel, who recorded four points (2 G, 2 A) in 11 games with a plus / minus rating of -2 for the Carolina Hurricanes this season, can be a nice depth piece for the Ottawa Senators and he can be moved up and down the lineup. Plus, back with the team he was drafted by and after a disappointing cup of coffee with the Canes, the 28-year-old should be motivated to try and get hot and really boost his stock and repair his reputation.

And that’s the key aspect of the trade here. The Senators are taking on a player they know well having drafted him and a player who is an Unrestricted Free Agent after this season. If he can figure it out and get hot then Ottawa could look to flip him at the Trade Deadline for more assets to add to the rebuild or, if not, then they can either choose to let him walk in the offseason or sign him to a team-friendly deal with a cap hit less than the $3,375,000 AAV he currently demands.

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That’s the key here. Having only traded for Cedric Paquette and signed Alex Galchenyuk in Free Agency in the offseason, it is clear that the Ottawa Senators are already in the business of flipping pieces with one eye on the future given that they will be a Lottery team this year, and Ryan Dzingel is a piece who can contribute to this team now if he can get back to the player that recorded 56 points (26 G, 30 A) in 78 games for the Sens and the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2018-19, while he can be used to acquire draft picks at the Trade Deadline. Overall, this is a low-risk move for the Ottawa Senators who probably already have one eye on next offseason and don’t be surprised to see more moves like this in the not-too-distant future.