Senators’ Nick Paul: Stay or Go?

They did it with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mark Stone. Will the Ottawa Senators hit the trifecta with Nick Paul?

Seems like a reasonable question: Will Ottawa trade off one of its key contributors and more popular skaters at the NHL’s trade deadline?

The similarities are striking. All three are/were in their prime. Paul is now 26 years old; Stone was the same when he was dealt to Vegas while Pageau was 27 when he was sent to the Islanders. All three are/were skating toward unrestricted free agency. Most importantly, all three are/were considered prominent members of the Senators.

It’s essential, though, to compare the circumstances involving the three.

With both Pageau and Stone at the time (2020 and 2019), Ottawa was romantically involved with a hockey overhaul. Read: rebuild. With Paul, the opposite, according to the reigning general manager, is true. The reconstruction of the roster is over, so sayeth Pierre Dorion this past fall: “The rebuild is done. Now we’re stepping into another zone.”

I’ll still maintain both the Pageau and Stone swaps were poor choices. Maybe every effort was made to re-sign them prior to the deadline. Maybe not. Maybe the purse strings were too tight, and maybe both just preferred to move on. Only Pierre, J-G and Mark and their agents truly know the answer.

Whatever the case, claiming 26 and 27-year-old players can’t be a part of your rebuild is ludicrous. Imagine Pageau and Stone (both at the age of 29) a part of the current tribe and where that would put the near-cellar-dwelling Senators in the playoff race?

To read the full article by Dave Gross, visit the Ottawa Life Magazine Web site.

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