/ FACES Magazine February 2017

Ottawa’s MOST IMPORTANT Hockey Trades

Yashin for Chara, Spezza and Bill Muckalt


Alexei Yashin is traded to the New York Islanders for Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt and the #2 Pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, which the Senators used to select Jason Spezza. This trade was a steal even if it was Yashin for Chara or Yashin for Spezza, straight up. Yashin went on to have a good first season on the Island (75 points in 78 games and 7 points in 7 playoff games), but would never hit 70 points again and ended up being bought out in 2007.


Chara may have had his best years in Boston where he became a Norris Trophy and Stanley Cup winner, but he became a dominant force on the blue line while in Ottawa. Chara played for four seasons before the Senators’ controversial decision to sign Wade Redden instead of Chara when both became free agents in the summer of 2006.


Jason Spezza became the #1 centre for the Senators during his 11 seasons in Ottawa. Arguably one of the most underappreciated players in Senators history, Spezza shone in the 2007 playoff run to the Stanley Cup Final registering 22 points in 20 games.



The summer of 2013 was a tough offseason for the Senators and Sens fans. Daniel Alfredsson signed with the Detroit Red Wings, and the fans were somewhat disenchanted with the team. Suddenly, Bryan Murray announced that the team had acquired Bobby Ryan. The Sens had secured a four-time 30 goal scorer who had just turned 26 and was in the prime of his career.


Ryan is a marketable, likeable and outgoing personality who fans gravitate towards. Some fans may have also  placed too much expectation upon Ryan to become a saviour.


So what did the Senators give up to acquire Ryan? Jakob Silfverberg (a 20 goal scorer for the Ducks), Stefan Noesen (9 total NHL games) and Nick Ritchie (9 goals in 40 games). In contrast, Ryan put up better numbers than all 3 when he was 21 years old and with the Ducks.


In our opinion, it was a trade that came with risks, but it was one that had to be made. When you look back at the climate in this city during the summer of 2013 – how it went from doom and gloom to genuine excitement again over the arrival of Bobby Ryan – it goes down in our books as one of the most important trades in team history.



Poor David Rundblad. His name is synonymous with two of the most lopsided trades in recent history.


Firstly, the trade that brought him to the Senators. In 2010, the Senators swung a draft day deal to acquire Rundblad in exchange for the 16th overall pick going to the St. Louios Blues. Rundblad was a first round pick of the Blues just the year before, but the Blues had eyes on someone with that 16th overall pick. The Blues selected a fella named Vladimir Tarasenko who has quickly become one of the games top young snipers.


The second trade saw the Sens dealing Rundblad (along with a second round draft pick) to the Coyotes in exchange for Kyle Turris.


Turris has gone on to become one of the team’s best players on the ice. He’s also a strong community builder off the ice with his many charitable commitments.


As for Rundblad’s fate? He retired at the end of the 2016 season.


Dany Heatley to San Jose


This wasn’t a huge win for the Senators on its face but when you consider the pressure that Bryan Murray was under, this has to go down as one of the most necessary in team history.


In the summer of 2009, just a year after signing a large 6 year contract with the team, Dany Heatley demanded a trade out of Ottawa. Heatley had become unhappy with his role with the team under new coach Cory Clouston. The problem was that he had a big contract to move, a reputation as a malcontent and a no-trade clause. Heatley refused to move his no-trade clause to go to Edmonton (a deal that would have sent Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano and Ladislav Smid to the Senators). In addition, this move would have saved the team from paying him a $4 million dollar bonus that came due a few days later. Finally, on September 12, 2009, the team was able to move him and a 5th round pick to San Jose for Milan Michalek, Jonathan Chechoo and a second round pick in 2010.


Michalek was a good player for the team for almost 7 seasons, scoring 35 goals in 2011-2012. Cheechoo never panned out in Ottawa. But Cheecho was a 56 goal scorer just 4 years before the trade, so the move to acquire him made sense in hopes that new scenery would bring back his scoring ways.


Dany Heatley will go down as one of the least popular players in team history for what transpired in the summer of 2009. It’s a shame because he had become a superstar during his 4 years in Ottawa. He put up back to back 50 goal seasons and had a  41 and 39 goals year. He clearly wanted to stay in Ottawa the year before, committing to another 6 years with the franchise, so something went very wrong during the 2008-2009 season. Whatever happened, it ultimately led to a most unfortunate situation in the summer… and one of the most important moves in recent history.


Trading to Move Up to Draft Erik Karlsson in 2008


Ottawa traded the 18th overall pick (which became Chet Pickard) and their 3rd round pick (Taylor Beck) to move up to get the 15th overall pick, which they used to select Erik Karlsson. You could make the argument based on how the picks played out that this was one of the most lopsided deals in NHL history. A move that no one blinked an eye at in 2008 can now be seen as one of the best and most important in the club’s history.


It just goes to show what a crapshoot the NHL Draft can be; how teams can never really know how prospects will turn out. Would the Senators have ever moved the #16 pick if they knew how good Tarasenko was going to be?


Would the Predators have hung up on the Senators if they had any clue that they were about to trade a future Hall of Famer for a goalie who is already out of the league and a journeyman forward?


It’s easy to dump on the GMs for making moves that don’t work

out but in reality, look at all the teams that passed on Tarasenko

and Karlsson. The Leafs selected Luke Schenn at #5 that year.


Remember Nikita Filitov? He was taken #6 by Columbus. You just never know, and that is why NHL trades involving draft picksare so much fun to look back on... especially with the benefit of hindsight.

© Faces Magazine 2016