Senators News: April 4th

-There has been a ton of reaction to the Ben BishopCory Conacher trade which covers a wide gamut of reaction.  Nichols is cautionary, pointing out that Conacher played soft minutes with great players (Stamkos), that his possession numbers aren’t great and his production has sagged after a hot start.  Travis Yost thinks that:

Hanging a hat on something like scoring consistency, for the most part, is a lazy argument, especially when a player and his linemates were producing at a ridiculously unsustainable level.

Which is not (by itself) an argument I think anyone has made, but be that as it may, he does point out that the Lightning as a whole are a pretty bad possession team so (ergo) he argues that hurt Conacher‘s numbers.  Yost, incidentally, says that the consensus is that Ottawa “won” the trade, but I don’t know how he’s come to that conclusion (Senschirp echoes this point, but again, simply says it).  Ryan Classic calls the trade a win because (from what I can tell) there was no room for Bishop so he’s been turned into a useful asset (Conacher) the team needs.  Wayne Scanlan thinks the trade is a win both ways (although he mistakenly believes Conacher will play center whereas the Sens want him on the wing) and Scott Cullen, Allan Muir, and Scott Burnside agree, while Ryan Kennedy thinks the Sens won the deal.  Varada wraps it up:

Did Conacher benefit from playing with a generational talent in Stamkos? Are his possession stats and zone starts a cause for concern? (Yes.) Is he having an outlier season for an undrafted and tiny forward? Did we actually get hosed? Tampa paid nothing for Conacher and got a good season out of a rookie. And they parlayed that into a guy who could end up their starting goaltender, a guy who has outright won games for Ottawa that Ottawa had no right winning. This is what swinging for the fences looks like in Ottawa. Most teams throw a huge number of years and money at a player with only a year or two left in their prime. Ottawa trades what amounts to a 2nd round pick for one of the best rookies of the year and hopes it’s not a fluke. I don’t really mind this when you consider that it fits the long term plans of the club, the prospect cupboard is full, and Murray basically had to trade Bishop anyway. The problem with Conacher is that he’s here to score, and score only. He can’t be conveniently demoted down the lineup and play a checking role if his scoring touch goes cold . He needs to finish, and finish consistently.

For my part I see the deal as a gamble for both sides.  Perhaps there is some sense that Ottawa is taking the bigger risk (or has less upside) given that Tampa was willing to throw in a pick for a player they have to re-sign in the off-season.  What is a fourth rounder?  A shot in the dark seemingly, but it’s worth considering who Ottawa has taken under Bryan Murray in his tenure as GM of the Sens: Ben Blood (2007), Andre Petersson (2008), Derek Grant (2008), Chris Wideman (2009), Marcus Sorensen (2010), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (2011), and Tim Boyle (2012).  Along with unknowns there are a couple of busts, but several of these players are considered to have NHL potential so the organisation does a better job with their late picks than most.

-For those wondering, the other serious possibilities for Bishop were (from Edmonton) Ryan Jones and a pick, while the Sens wanted Sean Couturier out of Philadelphia.

Scott had the scoring chances in the Boston game 16/22.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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