As the 2023-2024 NHL season unfolds, the Ottawa Senators find themselves in a position of being sellers. Following the dismissal of General Manager Pierre Dorion and the mounting pressure on Head Coach DJ Smith, it’s clear that the Senators are poised for significant changes.
The new ownership group’s demand for progress this season, especially with the team’s expected rise in the Eastern Conference, has brought two players into the spotlight of trade rumors: Vladimir Tarasenko and Erik Brannstrom.
Assessing the Future of Tarasenko and Brannstrom with the Ottawa Senators
Vladimir Tarasenko has been a noteworthy presence for the Senators, racking up 13 points in 17 games. His experience and performance, combined with a Senators salary cap hit of $5 million, make him an attractive prospect for contenders, particularly given his invaluable Stanley Cup Playoff experience. However, Tarasenko’s full no-trade clause means any move would require his consent, leading to a potential crossroads: either the Senators extend his contract or explore trade options.
Erik Brannstrom, once considered a top prospect, now finds himself as a depth player, struggling to secure significant playing time. At 24, he still holds potential, but with only one goal in 12 games and limited power play involvement, a change of scenery might be beneficial. Brannstrom, a pending restricted free agent with a $2 million salary, might find better opportunities elsewhere, offering the Senators a chance to reassess their lineup.
The Ottawa Senators are 8th in the Atlantic Division with a record of 8 wins and 9 losses, indicating a tough challenge to make the playoffs. This situation adds to the speculation surrounding Tarasenko and Brannstrom, as the team may look to shake things up to climb the standings.