One of the Ottawa Senators biggest and frankly most surprising transactions this past offseason was their acquisition of forward Derek Stepan from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a 2nd round pick in the upcoming 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
It was a surprising move not because Stepan isn't a good player, but because well... the Senators aren't very good. Add to the fact that Stepan was quarantined in Arizona with his 9 months pregnant wife and the move is even more perplexing. What's even more perplexing though is now NHL insider Nick Kypreos reports that the Sens are actively looking to trade Stepan, just five weeks after acquiring him.
From Kypreos' most recent Real Kyper at Noon show with guest Doug MacLean:
DM: “You’ve got Stepan, who’s a problem. I mean, right now, whether it’s a family situation… who knows what it is.”
NK: “They’re trying to trade Stepan right now. Like, you barely got him and now you’re hearing that they’re trying to move him out. Come on. What’s going on there?”
What's going on is that the Senators aren't very good and it looks like their management staff is taking stock of their assets already. To be fair though, the Sens are a young team and no one really expected them to be competitive this season... it's just that nobody expected them to be THIS bad. If either Matt Murray or Marcus Hogberg could make a save though, things could improve. And to be perfectly honest, I think there's a valuable spot for a good veteran like Stepan in the Senators' lineup whether they're winning or not. Now, does he want to be part of a long rebuild? Probably not, especially given what the past three seasons have looked like for him in Arizona. This is a guy who went on a couple deep runs, including a Stanley Cup Final, during his time with the New York Rangers and now he's bounced around between two rebuilding franchises in the Coyotes and the Senators. If I'm Derek Stepan I want full control over where I'm headed next and what my next stop is in the NHL. Thoughts, Sens fans?