Friday, July 19, 2024

Steve Staios sets up shop in Vegas as busy draft week begins

Must read

Article content

Steve Staios and the Ottawa Senators set up shop Monday in Las Vegas — now, it’s time to get down to business.

It has been 236 days since Staios added the title of general manager of the Senators to the president of hockey operations role he already held and, after nearly eight months on the job, he’s facing the most pivotal one-week stretch of his short career at the helm.

Advertisement 2

Article content

After missing the playoffs for seven straight years, Postmedia has reported that Staios has been “aggressive” in his pursuit of changes and, with the National Hockey League draft set to begin Friday night, some of the talk has to turn to action.

With the Stanley Cup final between the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers closing out Monday night in Sunrise, Fla., teams will have a lot of work ahead, including the start of free agency less than a week away and the final six rounds of the draft Saturday in Las Vegas.

Here’s the latest on a number of fronts:

Loading...

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

JAKOB CHYCHRUN

The Senators are listening to offers for the veteran blueliner, but we’re told the asking price is high.

League executives told Postmedia on the weekend that Staios is seeking a first-round and second-round pick in exchange for Chychrun or a first-round selection with a high-end prospect.

Ideally, the Senators would like to get back something close to what they paid to get Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes in the first place.

The Senators acquired Chychrun at the March 2023 trade deadline in exchange for a first-round pick in 2023, a second-round pick in this draft and a second-round selection in 2026.

Advertisement 3

Article content

Chychrun, 26, finished with 14 goals and 41 points in 82 games last season and he has been one of the better offensive defencemen this club has had since Erik Karlsson was dealt to the San Jose Sharks in 2018.

Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark
Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark. Photo by Michael Dwyer /AP

LINUS ULLMARK

We were first to report in this space in May that the Senators would revisit the talks they had with the Boston Bruins at the deadline and the first to report that has been the case.

We’re at the tipping point for this trade, where it either happens or the talks go off the rails. The Bruins are looking for a big return for Ullmark, but they aren’t dealing from a position of strength.

Staios likely doesn’t want to do this deal without having an extension in place and you can’t blame him for that, but Ullmark also wants this trade to happen on his terms and he has control with a 14-team no trade list.

David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period has reported Ullmark is willing to waive his no-move clause to come to Ottawa if the two sides can get a new contract in place.

Making $5 million in the final year of his contract, Ullmark wants a long-term extension that’s north of $6 million per season. The Senators already have Joonas Korpisalo under contract for four more years with an average annual value of $4 million.

Advertisement 4

Article content

CALVIN DE HAAN

The Carp native wants to come home and he’s not making any secret of that fact.

Domenic Donato, a local businessperson and longtime Ottawa season-ticket holder, posted on the social media site X on Sunday that the Senators should be “upgrading their backend instead of their goalie.”

The 33-year-old de Haan responded with handclap and ‘speak no evil’ emojis, which indicated he’d like to play for the Senators.

An unrestricted free agent on July 1, de Haan has suited up for 632 games in his career and after spending last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning would like to settle here.

de Haan told another poster on X that his “underlying numbers” were quite strong last season.

Selected No. 12 overall by the New York Islanders in 2009, de Haan grew up in the area and sources say this is a signing the Senators will explore when free agency opens. He’s a part-owner of the Ridge Rock Brewing Company in Carp and spends his off-seasons in the Ottawa area.

The Senators are trying to make a number of changes on the blueline and de Haan would be a good fit if the club is able to make moves with either Erik Brannstrom or Jacob Bernard-Docker.

Advertisement 5

Article content

DERICK BRASSARD

Congratulations to the former Senators centre, who announced his retirement on the weekend.

He suited up for 1,013 games in his NHL career and, after suffering a devastating leg injury with the Senators close to the end of the 2022-23 campaign, he didn’t play last year.

Brassard, a Hull native, told well-respected La Presse columnist Mathias Brunet on Sunday his NHL career is over.

“I probably would have played one more season,” Brassard said. “I was in DJ Smith’s plans, I think. But it took me eight months to recover. Arriving in November, with the signing of Vladimir Tarasenko, the salary situation, it wouldn’t have worked. I would be able to play right now, but at my age, after missing a full year, it would be impossible to come back. Hockey is over for me.”

THE LAST WORDS

The Senators released their seven-game preseason schedule Monday and it will start with a Battle of Ontario.

Here’s the full schedule:

Sunday, Sept 22: Ottawa at Toronto 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 24: Toronto at Ottawa 7 p.m.

Thursday. Sept. 26: Buffalo at Ottawa 7 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 29: Ottawa vs. Pittsburgh (Kraft Hockeyville)

Tuesday, Oct 1: Ottawa at Montreal, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 4: Ottawa at Detroit, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 5: Montreal at Ottawa, 7 p.m.

bgarrioch@postmedia.com

Article content

Latest article