The Sens made headlines Tuesday night as they appear to have started the reshaping of the roster sending Phaneuf and Thompson to the Kings in exchange for Gaborik and Nick Shore. This move appears to mark the beginning of the process of tearing down the roster and building it back up. Following Dorion receiving a contract extension on the weekend Melnyk made a statement and it included the idea that the Sens will be looking to rebuild their roster a bit. This move appears to be headed in that direction. While many would argue that getting Phaneuf and Thompson out of the lineup actually helps the team from a performance standpoint too, that’s a conversation for another time.
Let’s get straight to the point, this is a move to save the team and Melnyk some money. The Sens were able to get out from under Phaneuf’s massive contract (shocking in its own right) however, it did come at a cost. The Sens did end up having to retain a pretty significant chunk of his contract (25%). The Sens also had to take back Gaborik’s contract from the Kings and it definitely isn’t a cheap one, but it’s not as bad as Phaneuf’s so to me, that’s a win. The Sens were also able to move Thompson’s brutal contract in this trade which will free up even more space going forward. The Thompson aspect of the trade is rather irrelevant to me as most people thought the signing (mostly the cap hit and no trade clause) was pretty bad to begin with.
According to various sources this trade is more of an actual cold hard cash savings type of deal than a cap space deal. With the retained salary the Sens really only save somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million in cap space. Where this trade becomes big for Ottawa is they will save roughly $4 million in real money with this trade. Gaborik’s deal is structured in a way that he actually isn’t paid the same as his cap hit, the money he is paid is significantly less. Gaborik’s deal has three years remaining on it, however due to the fact there is no bonuses owed to him or in his contract buying him out this summer would be SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than what it would cost to buy out Phaneuf. There’s also the possibility that Gaborik retires, but this makes things very complicated to determine in terms of cap ramifications.
All in all this deal does save the Sens a fairly substantial amount of money. Trading Phaneuf frees up space on the blueline for players such as Claesson and Wideman going forward so that’s a positive. This trade also hopefully marks the beginning of a new era for the Sens. An era where they no longer suffer from short sightedness when it comes to contracts and stop giving out garbage deals to marginal players. Also hopefully no more making trades for big long term deals to rid themselves of bad short term deals. It will be interesting to see what the team decides to do going forward between now and the trade deadline. Will we see players like Brassard, Burrows, Smith, Oduya, and Hoffman moved before the deadline? What are your thoughts on the trade? Let us know what you think on our twitter & facebook