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2010 NHL Trade Deadline: To the surprise of no one, Senators targeting defensemen

Mar 1, 2010, 3:57 PM EDT

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To say that the Ottawa Senators are in
third place in the Eastern Conference is surprising is an
understatement. Yet there they are, winners of 14 of their last 16 games
and playing the best hockey in Ottawa since 2008.

What’s abnormal
about their standing in the East stems mostly from the fact that the
Senators are the only team in the top 12 in the NHL to have a point
different in the negative (minus-1). They’re having some issues scoring
goals, sort of, but their defense and goaltending have been a bit a bit
suspect as well (amazingly, they are near the top in the NHL in shots
allowed per game). Yet the Senators are drastically thin on defense, and that’s where Aaron Ward might come in…

The Senators are gearing up for a playoff run
that is hopefully a bit more successful than their last attempt, and
currently have just six healthy defensemen on the roster, two of which
are on entry-level contracts. So it stands within reason that they’ll be
targeting a defensemen at the trade deadline. Of course, GM
Bryan Murray says they need to maintain team chemistry.

“Some
of the guys I’m talking to now — and I don’t know all of the
defencemen — I do know the personality of the defenceman, and I just
want to get a good guy,” Murray said. “He doesn’t have to be a star, he
just has to be able to play some games. Just don’t come and rock the
boat.”

Could that player be the Hurricanes’ Aaron
Ward? He’ll be a free agent this summer, but he’ll certainly provide a
veteran presence on the blue line for the playoffs and he’s not
necessarily a guy who it going to ‘rock the boat’. What’s going to be
tough for Murray is that every team knows they need a defenseman; but if
he’s going to try and not oversell, while still fighting to keep the
feel of his team intact, then good on him.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Alfredsson (2007)
  2. B. Bishop (1962)
  3. M. Fleury (1781)
  4. J. Schultz (1539)
  5. D. Krejci (1515)
  1. J. Boychuk (1497)
  2. C. Anderson (1477)
  3. E. Staal (1426)
  4. R. Lehner (1320)
  5. D. Setoguchi (1271)