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In a move that few of us saw coming (in spite of Martin Havlat's days being numbered in Ottawa), the Czech winger was sent to Chicago along with Bryan Smolinski in a three-way deal that also involved San Jose.

Chicago sent Mark Bell to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Tom Priessing and Josh Hennessy, who the Blackhawks added to a package to land Havlat and Smolinski.

Along with Preissing and Hennessy, the Blackhawks sent prospect Michal Barinka and a 2008 second-round draft pick to Ottawa in exchange for Havlat and Smolinski.

Did you get all that? Okay. Let's concentrate on what matters.

Obviously after Havlat's demands, it was expected that he'd be on the move. Frankly I'm surprised that Muckler was able to get anything that could be used in the present (read: something other than draft picks and baby-faced prospects), because Havlat was insisting on a one-year deal.

Which brings us to that "present day" piece: Tom Priessing. Obviously after the loss of Zdeno Chara, the Senators needed to continue their search for defensive pieces. It was highly unlikely that Ottawa would ever find an equivalent replacement, but the addition of Priessing seems to have quelled the masses somewhat. The Minnesota native is considered to be a power-play specialist, and is also a right-handed shot -- a helpful trait on a defense that's notoriously loaded with left-handed blueliners.

Along with the former San Jose defenseman comes two prospects and a draft pick. They may pan out. They may not. Regardless, they will not help the immediate bottom line.

For the record, here's the bottom line: As of right now, the Senators are down a left wing, and a second/third center. And regardless of what critics may have said about Bryan Smolinski -- the player I called "Binkie" (here's the reason why) -- he was still a body that the team doesn't have an immediate replacement for.

Salary dump? Duh. But whom are you going to plug in there? If you're to believe the deluded masses over at the HFboards, it would be Alexei Kaigorodov -- the Russian prospect who's been playing for Metallurg Magnitogorsk -- a kid with no physicality to his game, that has yet to experience the North American style of play, let alone become acclimatized to it. But according to them, you can stick Kaig right in there.

Alrighty then. Rock that spin, Armchair GM. Note to Muckler: No naps until you find someone.

As for the left wing, if you wanted to stick Christoph Schubert on forward, it would work on paper. Schubert played up front several times last year, and made for a feisty combination of speed and fierce hitting. Good on paper, but the reality is that Schubert is still very young and will require grooming. Besides, if you move him ahead of the blueline, you're down to six defensemen (again).

You could believe that Muckler was going to make an effort to fill these holes -- you could believe that, or you could realize that this salary dump was necessitated by the four players left on the team who are going to arbitration (Chris Kelly, Chris Neil, Antoine Vermette and Peter Schaefer).

In short, the dreams that some have of seeing Michael Peca in Ottawa are just that. Dreams.

More later? From John Muckler, hopefully.

P.S. Discuss this trade and Havlat's unsubstantiated new salary on the message board.

2 responses to "Muckler devours the young"

  1. Moose here. Love the Muckler eating the young rant.

    HAVLAT WAS MY FAVORITE SEN FOR A REASON. Smokes was underated as a player and the only fans in Ottawa glad to see Zdeno leave are the Leaf fans.

    I have no doubt though that Havlat is well worth 4 million and is certainly as valuable a player as Jason Spezza. If you don't believe me, simply look at the Sens win/loss statistics when he was in the line up. Or just simply look at his play offs stats last year.


  2. Oops I forgot to say, now on the bright side,

    Mezaros is going to shine!!! I cannot spell his name but I think that he is going to step up big time based on last year.

    Moose out again, Ricky