Sports

Welcomes and Goodbyes: Ottawa Senators Turn the Page on Mathieu Joseph and Several Others

Ottawa Senators GM Steve Staios made his first NHL Free Agent Frenzy memorable, remodel his roster with big trades and big signings.

Canada Day always sparks a feeding frenzy around the league, with expiring player contracts officially ending on July 1st. It’s also the time to make big trades. Some teams make trades to directly improve their team. Others make trades to free up cap space to allow for other deals to bolster and balance their roster.

Staios did a little bit of everything. In fact, when you look at the Senators’ opening night roster from last year, eight skaters and a goalie are now gone.

Winger Mathieu Joseph, who graced the cover of the March issue of FACES, was dealt to the St. Louis Blues to clear cap space. Not only did the Sens get nothing from the Blues in return, but they also had to sweeten the deal, giving them a third-round draft pick. That allowed Staios to almost immediately re-sign centre Shane Pinto to a two-year deal worth $7.5 million.

In an attempt to rebalance the blue line, the Sens traded Jakob Chychrun, a left-shot offensive defenceman, to the Washington Capitals for Nick Jensen, a right-shot shutdown defenceman.

To improve goaltending, at least for next season, Joonas Korpisalo (and the four years and $16 million left on his contract) was traded to the Boston Bruins, along with a 2024 first-round draft pick (Braeside’s Dean Letourneau) for Linus Ullmark, the 2023 Vezina Trophy winner. Ullmark is in the final year of his contract, and the Sens would like to sign him to an extension.

Free agents Erik Brannstrom and winger Parker Kelly were both allowed to walk and were signed by Colorado. Winger Egor Sokolov was sent to the Utah Hockey Club for forward Jan Jenik. Players like Rourke Chartier, Jiri Smejkal, and Boris Katchouk were not re-signed.

On Canada Day, Staios stretched his cap budget hard when he signed free-agent forwards David Perron, Michael Amadio, and Noah Gregor. He also signed Adam Gaudette, a former Senator who was the AHL goal-scoring leader last season.

So all that leaves the Sens with a much different look on their top units this fall. The top nine forwards and top four defence seem set. But there will be a battle for jobs on the fourth line and the bottom pairing D, so we’re taking our best guess at that alignment.

Forwards

Brady Tkachuk-Tim Stutzle-Claude Giroux

Ridly Greig-Josh Norris-Drake Batherson

Michael Amadio-Shane Pinto-David Perron

Noah Gregor-Adam Gaudette-Zack MacEwen

Defencemen

Jake Sanderson-Artem Zub

Thomas Chabot-Nick Jensen

Tyler Kleven-Travis Hamonic

Goalies

Linus Ullmark

Anton Forsberg

When you think about it, for an Ottawa Senators team that’s supposed to be emerging from a long rebuild by now, that’s a pretty major summer renovation.

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