Ryan Dzingel being dealt in the coming weeks seemed to be a fait accompli, but the winds may be shifting in Ottawa.
Darren Dreger had a Tuesday afternoon radio hit on Ottawa’s TSN 1200.
As part of a larger conversation on the Senators and the situations with Mark Stone and Matt Duchene, the Insider offered some insight into a potential shift in the team’s philosophy regarding another pending unrestricted free agent forward.
“I’m more curious on Ryan Dzingel,” indicated Dreger. “I think that there’s as good a chance that the Ottawa Senators opt and try and sign and keep Ryan Dzingel than they are in exploring what the trade market is.
“He’s going to be more affordable. You need good players to transition from rebuild into a playoff-contending team, and why trade a Ryan Dzingel when you’re going to try and get that player back. Unless - unless - it just becomes a cost issue and whatever Ryan Dzingel is expecting to avoid free agency is cost prohibitive.
“But based on his level of production this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ottawa takes a hard run at keeping him.”
Show host Ian Mendes expressed some surprise at Dreger’s thoughts on the potential of the team exploring this route with Dzingel.
“I feel like this is a developing scenario,” offered Dreger. “And because of that obviously it’ll be a developing story.
“I wouldn’t say that it’s top priority to get this guy signed. You still have to go through what they’re working through with Newport Sports on Mark Stone and CAA and Pat Brisson on Matt Duchene, but I think that the feeling has maybe shifted a little bit.
“So there’s still the possibility that Dzingel gets traded. I’m not suggesting he’s off the market, because he’s not. But I just feel like recently maybe management has shifted a little bit and is looking at the bigger picture and seeing a - what is he, a 20, 25… well, he’s at least a 20… he might be a 30-goal scorer before the end of the regular season.
“Again, why wouldn’t you take a stab at trying to sign that guy and try and keep that player if you’re worrying about the risk of losing either Stone or Duchene.”
Dzingel is on a two-year, $3.6 million contract with a $1.8 million cap hit, and he can become a UFA this summer.
It was only a few weeks ago that Dreger himself felt it likely Dzingel would be dealt, so this could be a notable shift in thinking from the Senators on this front.
Should Dorion opt to deal Dzingel, Elliotte Friedman speculated a potential return of a second-rounder and a prospect, “and maybe higher.”
Contract-related info via CapFriendly