Ottawa Senators should make a pitch for former Ottawa 67’s winger Bryan Bickell
The month of June is going to be a very important one for the Senators.
Owner Eugene Melnyk has to decide if and by how much he is going to increase his team’s hockey budget. If the verdict is as it should be, GM Bryan Murray has to figure out how he’s going to gamble the extra cash.
And yes, both the free agency period that begins in July and any trade for a much-needed scoring winger is a huge gamble — especially for the Senators, who unlike the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs, are a small market team that depends largely on scouting and wise choices for their success.
A popular opinion is that, because offers for free agents are once again going to be outrageous, swinging a trade is the best route for Murray to take. And of course a guy like Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan is an enticing option. He’s only 26 and is a four-time, 30-plus goal scorer.
Skating with a playmaker like Jason Spezza, he could get 50.
But along with the $5.1-million salary cap hit for the next two years, what’s he going to cost the Senators? As my friend Bruce likes to say, they’re not going to give him away.
The Ducks, who once built a Stanley Cup winner around a strong defence, would probably ask for Jared Cowen. Murray, who was beaten by that Anaheim team, would have to say no to that.