The Blue Jackets have completed their raid of Ottawa.
No more than 36 hours after landing Matt Duchene in a deal with the Senators, Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen has acquired Duchene’s former linemate Ryan Dzingel as well, as first reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
Heading back to Ottawa are two second-round picks and forward Anthony Duclair, reports Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. All told, the Senators receive Duclair, a first-round pick, two second rounders and two prospects, including former third-round pick Vitaly Abramov (not to mention an additional first-round selection if the Jackets do indeed extend Duchene), for two of their three high-profile pending unrestricted free agents.
Certainly a decent haul.
For the Blue Jackets, caution has been thrown to the wind. They now have four expiring assets of significance with Duchene, Dzingel, Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky, and no promise that even one will opt to stick around. But they also have probably their most talented roster in their history, and are clearly intent on seeing the season through. Clear ambition and one of the lighter paths in the playoffs through the Metropolitan Division, the Blue Jackets are legitimate Stanley Cup contenders.
Meanwhile Ottawa can now focus its attention entirely on the most important asset under its label in the lead-up to Monday’s trade deadline. It’s believed that the Senators would still prefer to sign pending unrestricted free agent winger Mark Stone, but will be forced to trade him if they are unable to agree to terms on an extension.
Stone should bring back a bigger haul than the Senators received for Duchene or Dzingel. If Stone is dealt, what the Senators accomplish with the futures assets acquired for their three top veteran forwards will largely determine how successful their rebuild winds up being.
Together, Duchene and Dzingel shared the ice for over 500 minutes in Ottawa. They had a slight edge in goal share and slight disadvantage in shot share in favourable minutes for the last-place Senators.
Duchene skated between Panarin and Cam Atkinson on the Jackets’ top line in his first two starts with his new team. Dzingel will slide into a middle-six role on left wing.