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Sergei Gonchar might be on the trading block

Jun 4, 2012, 10:45 AM EST

Sergei Gonchar Getty Images

The Ottawa Senators have some money to hand out this summer. Erik Karlsson is a restricted free agent in need of a long-term deal with a likely hefty payday. His defense partner Filip Kuba is an unrestricted free agent and held the key to Karlsson’s break out season.

Sens GM Bryan Murray is looking at potentially having to grossly inflate the amount of money he’s spending on defense and Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen says Murray is looking at moving one high-paid, big name defender to help ease the pain in Sergei Gonchar.

Expect Murray to be aggressively selling Gonchar in advance of the NHL entry draft on June 22-23. It’s unlikely a team will take that gamble, but if the Senators are successful in somehow moving him, the return won’t be big: the benefit for the Senators in any such deal is moving the salary.

Gonchar’s cap hit is $5.5 million for next season, but he’s one of just three defensemen under contract for Ottawa next season (Chris Phillips and Jared Cowen the others). Cap space isn’t shaping up to be a major issue for Ottawa, but with Gonchar on the final year of his contract, he could be viewed as a helpful player for a team in need of an added piece to their puzzle.

  1. bcisleman - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Isles need a top 4 & will likely need help getting to the cap floor, so this might be a perfect fit. If Vokoun was worth a 7th rounder, that might work for Gonchar as well. One of the Isles’ great lacks was blueline production. Mark Streit put up good numbers as always, but the next highest total was Travis Hamonic with about half of Streit’s points.

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