Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Senators trade Ben Bishop for Corey Conacher, who is now waived a year later.

When the Ottawa Senators traded away Ben Bishop to Tampa for Corey Conacher, I wasn't impressed with their return.  I know the kid had entered the league with a bit of a splash, but his pedigree didn't inspire a lot of confidence.  Sure, he'd had a couple of seasons in his career where he picked up more than a point a game, but I didn't see a player who had one or two great skills, like a great shot or blinding speed.

I thought I was being uncharitable, and that my bias against smaller players due to the Canadiens' current situation coloured my perception of the trade.  The Senators had given up a big rangy goalie, the flavour of the week in the NHL, for an undersized player.  How would Mr. Conacher fit into the Sens' scheme, did a heady guy with the puck have a role on a roster like that?  Don't everyone of their forwards have to scowl and mug like Chris Neil?

Not every small player needs to be Marcel Dionne or Pavel Bure to contribute.  The Canucks had some very good seasons out of Cliff Ronning, a smart quick player with great hands who was passed over by multiple teams at every level, but found a home in Vancouver, notably on a line with Sergio Momesso and Jim Sandlak.  Maybe Corey Conacher could be similarly used in Ottawa.

So in a way I'm not shocked that Corey Conacher was placed on waivers today by the Senators, but it's a fair indication that they got meager returns for a goalie who is showing All-Star potential this season.  I know there were roster considerations when they made the deal, they flipped him so as to not lose him, but the trade had landed with a thud in my mind, kind of like the Danny Kristo for Christian Thomas deal, one where you scratch your head and wonder why of all options would you choose this one.

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