It's that magical day of year that fans look forward to, players can't wait to get past and television producers everywhere dread... Trade Deadline day! Follow along as we keep track of any and all things Sens on this day as well as anything pertinent to the playoff push as it stands.
I'll keep you updated as it happens below, and you can follow along in this space all day long. We also have a stream of Sportsnet's Deadline coverage here for your convenience.
5:20 PM: Bryan Murray gives Cory Conacher the call to welcome him to the organization...
5:00 PM: Obviously in listening to the info from Sens brass today it's clear that the team is hopeful for reinforcements coming from the injured reserve rather than another team. It looks as though Craig Anderson is healthy and ready to play, and the team is prepared to anoint Robin Lehner as the understudy. Milan Michalek has resumed practicing with the team. Jared Cowen looks like he could return this season after all, and Jason Spezza is recovering, but ultimately isn't ready to return just yet.
In other words, the team dealt from a position of strength today. They gave up Bishop because they could afford to give up Bishop. There isn't a single team in the NHL that had the goaltending depth the Sens did this morning. Far more were scrambling for patchwork solutions to their crease, not taking offers on their players. From that position the Sens have emerged with (another) talented young player who not only adds depth to their forward corps, but ultimately has room to grow with the rest of this team. The line combinations and potential for production from this unit going forward beyond this season is downright scary, especially when factoring in the development of players like Silfverberg, ZIbanejad and even Kyle Turris who will eventually go back to his more familiar role in the second unit once Spezza returns.
Tim Murray said earlier this morning that they would stick to the plan, and they did just that, if not bolster it.
4:35 PM: We have a Sens TV exclsuive for you here as Gord Wilson had the chance to speak with Sens GM Bryan Murray about the acquisition of Cory Conacher.
3:50 PM: OFFICIAL NEWS:
After much speculation the Senators have sent Ben Bishop to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Coming back to the Sens is Cory Conacher, a 23 year old centre from Burlington, Ont., along with a 4th rounder in this year's 2013 Entry Draft from Tampa Bay, which originally belonged to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Conacher has been a Calder Trophy candidate from the get-go this season, and has registered 24 points in 35 games with the Lightning. He was an undrafted free agent out of Canisius College and signed with the Lightning in July 2011. Since making the jump to the pro ranks Conacher has been a prolific scorer, registering 86 points in 82 AHL games between time with the Milwaukee Admirals and Rochester Americans. He was also named the AHL's MVP in 2012 and was just the fourth rookie in league history to capture the honour, not too shabby.
Looking at the lineup with him in it, in theory, Conacher will add some scoring up front and should fit in nicely in a very young core. The Sens now have four legitimate Calder Trophy candidates between Conacher, Jakob Silfverberg, Mika Zibanejad and Patrick Wiercioch who have all had excellent first campaigns in the NHL. The top six is now also quite a bit more crowded and should free up a player or two to shuffle down the lineup and see some more favourable minutes, especially with the forthcoming return of Milan Michalek.
At any rate, Conacher's offensive skillset and feistyness (peskyness?) brings a lot of good to the Sens lineup and, additionally, gives the team a new leading scorer in goals and points. It will be a lot of fun to see what he can do under Paul MacLean.
Also of note, Cory is (albeit distantly) related to NHL Hall of Famers Charlie Conacher, Roy Conacher and Lionel Conacher. Not a bad name to have on the back of a jersey for those of you looking to go shopping.
2:20 PM: Various sources are reporting that Ben Bishop has been traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. We'll let you know if anything becomes official.
1:55 PM: Marc Methot speaks to the media about what it's like to go through a trade deadline, what the team is up to and how he feels about the team's performance in spite of all that has gone on this season. You can listen here on this page.
Marc touches on this briefly, but in many ways the Sens are in an incredibly unique situation. The team has performed beyond the expectations of many with numerous injuries and have shown off the team's depth. At the same time, however, they are objectively still in the midst of a rebuild that began two years ago with the hiring of Paul MacLean. There are a lot of balls in the air and all of them have to be considered equally before making any moves. 1:30 PM:
WAR ROOM FOOTAGE! No Audio. Lip readers are welcome to do their best. 1:00 PM:
More Sens management hard at work, this shot of Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee discussing potential moves. 12:15 PM:
Here's more quality Sens TV footage from Boston with Assistant GM Tim Murray. NOON:
Still no trades in the NHL but we have visual proof that GMs are hard at work. Here is Sens GM Bryan Murray getting some thoughts in order ahead of the next phone call. We can only assume that his cup of coffee has been refilled a few times since he woke up this morning. 11:30 AM:
Sens assistant GM Tim Murray spoke with the media just before noon and updated the situation the team is looking at. Murray admitted the team is receiving a lot of offers surrounding Ben Bishop from five teams or so. The Sens are potentially looking into adding a depth player up front or on the blueline. They will be looking to force a great return if they can get one, but ultimately don't want to deviate from the course they have set for the franchise.
Stay tuned... 10:45 AM:
Well, it has been a fast and furious deadline morning so far. Essentially literally nothing has happened. If the deadline were to come and go now Jagr to Boston would go down as the biggest deal of the day, which isn't a whole lot of fun because it happened yesterday. 9:45 AM:
Lots of talk surrounding Ben Bishop for the Sens. Obviously it's easy to see why given the forthcoming return of Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner's future with the team. Pierre LeBrun of TSN has reported that the team is looking for at least a 2nd round pick and a player or prospect for Big Ben while Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun has reported that at least six teams have made inquiries. It'll be an interesting plot to follow. 9:10 AM:
Sens TV has an exclusive interview with Bryan Murray for you to kick off Deadline Day. You can watch it here below:
9:00 AM: We begin.
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