With two weeks until the National Hockey League trade deadline, this is when the action gets hot and heavy.
"I don't know how much time was left", said Duchene when asked when he found out about the trade.
The timing of the trade was a bit unusual, though the fact he was dealt came as no surprise. That is exactly what happened Tuesday night. That was when the Senators were in the process of completing the rare mid-game trade by sending defenseman Dion Phaneuf and forward Nate Thompson to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forwards Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore.
The trade will end up saving the Senators almost $4 million, as Gaborik makes less money in base salary than Phaneuf through the duration of their contracts through 2021.
As most trades, it takes two teams to tango. It's hard to see Gaborik surviving the length of his contract in Ottawa (he is also signed through 2021) and names such as Mike Hoffman and Zack Smith have been hot in trade rumor circles for a while now. He wants to stay in Edmonton, but the Oilers have salary cap issues. This was about shedding contractual commitments, plain and simple, with the Senators set to save more than $5-million in actual dollars even while retaining 25 per cent of Phaneuf's remaining salary and cap hit.
Phaneuf signed this $49 million, seven-year contract when he was with Toronto on New Year's Eve 2013. In extending the contract of general manager Pierre Dorion by three years last Friday, owner Eugene Melnyk said in a statement that it "reflects a renewed commitment to scouting, drafting and development". The Senators could have winger Gabriel Dumont (high ankle sprain) back for Thursday's game against the Sabres ... But the teams are now going in directions that could see them switching places. He was traded to the Ottawa Senators in 2015-16.
"I'm not sure there's any rhyme or reason to it", center Connor McDavid, who had two goals in the first meeting, told NHL.com. If Ottawa chooses to move both of these players, the asking price will be a lot more. Nothing is off the table for the Senators.
After logging just 10:50 of ice time, Dion Phaneuf headed to the locker room midway through the second period.
Dowd, 25, has four goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 48 games this season.
If there is anyone that can relate to what Phaneuf's night was like it would have to be Senators forward Matt Duchene. The team supposedly refocused in the offseason, and the real Blackhawks were going to show up this season. Thompson, 33, heads back to California after having spent the past previous three seasons with the Anaheim Ducks. After reaching double overtime in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final last spring, the Senators are 19-27-9 and just three points out of last place in the Atlantic Division.
Kreider had 11 goals and 11 assists in 37 games before his injury, but if the Rangers choose to move him, he could be a solid asset for a true Stanley Cup contender.
It could end up being even more than that depending on Marian Gaborik's future with the Sens.
Before getting into the players first we must talk about the true objective of this trade, shedding salary.