GARRIOCH: Senators GM Pierre Dorion moves Nick Paul, acquires Hamonic and Joseph

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Pierre Dorion got a jump on the NHL trade deadline Sunday.

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The Ottawa Senators’ general manager kicked off the action at the Canadian Tire Center by acquiring blueliner Travis Hamonic from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL draft.

Then, later Sunday, the Senators acquired winger Mathieu Joseph and a fourth-round pick in 2024 from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for winger Nick Paul.

An unrestricted free agent, he turned down a four-year extension worth $10.4 million from the club Thursday and that was his ticket out of town. Paul was the last remaining player from the trade that sent Jason Spezza to Dallas in 2014.

The deadline is set for Monday at 3 pm EDT and there’s a good chance Dorion’s not done.

Dorion, assistant GM Peter MacTavish, senior VP Pierre McGuire, chief pro scout Jim Clark, chief amateur scout Trent Mann, coach DJ Smith and the rest of the hockey operations remained huddled Sunday night at the rink.

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Dorion may not be done and remains focused on trying to make hockey deals. Given a choice, he’d like to get players who will fit into the club’s lineup during the 2022-23 campaign.

It may not be as quiet as Dorion predicted and ideally the club would like to get players in return.

Here’s the players to keep an eye on Monday:


The decision on Paul could influence what happens to Sanford.

Acquired from the St. Louis Blues for center Logan Brown in camp, Sanford, 27, has played different roles for the Senators. He struggles with consistency but does have the experience of winning a Stanley Cup with the Blues.

With nine goals and 17 points in 62 games this season, he hasn’t set the world on fire but there’d be a role for him here, especially with Paul moved.

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He’s not going anywhere but he may get signed to an extension sooner rather than later.

The Senators have reached out to his camp to try to get him signed to an extension because he’s been the club’s best and most consistent netminder.


At UFA on July 1, there’s a good chance he’ll be on the move.

The club may not get more than a draft pick for the 28-year-old but he can help a team looking for depth for the post-season.

He takes a lot of heat on social media because of the mistakes he makes in his own end but he has some value. At 6-foot-5, Brown is a player who could play a good depth role for a playoff contender.

The 28-year-old Brown won’t be at the top of anybody’s list but as blueliners get picked off the market there could be a team that brings him in to play a sixth or seventh role down the stretch.

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Another guy to keep an eye on is center Colin White.

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He’s not a UFA and still has three years left on his deal but he’s an effective forward that may be able to help a team. Not sure if he’ll actually be moved but according to a couple of league executives he’s in play.

As for the trades the club did complete, Dorion and the Senators feel like Hamonic and Joseph will be good fits.

The 31-year-old Harmonic has one year left with a cap hit of $3 million next season and should be able to help stabilize the back end. He has a history with Ottawa associate coach Jack Capuano from the New York Islanders and is plus-one on the Canucks this season.

The Senators are hopeful Hamonic can play in their top four and there’s a sense he may a be a good candidate to play with top prospect Jake Sanderson, who is expected to leave the University of North Dakota next month to sign here.

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Hamonic is a stay-at-home defenseman who can sometimes give up a little more gap than you like. He has a strong relationship with Capuano because they spent nearly six years together with the Isles and have kept in touch.

“He’s the type of guy I would pair up with a young defenseman. He’s the type of guy who would help a guy like (Sanderson),” a league executive said Sunday. “He’s been (Vancouver’s) best defenseman the last 10 games.”

The third-round pick heading to Vancouver originally belonged to the Canucks before it was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights and subsequently flipped to the Senators as part of the Nick Holden deal last summer.

Hamonic suffered a lower-body injury Dec. 8 against Boston after a hit from Brad Marchand and missed 21 games. He returned Feb. 12 against Toronto and had seven points (3-4) in 24 games with the Canucks.

No, Sanderson isn’t here yet but acquiring Harmonic means the Senators are preparing for his arrival.

As for Joseph, the 25-year-old is close friends with Ottawa alternate captain Thomas Chabot. An RFA this summer, Joseph has eight goals and 18 points in 58 games with the Bolts this season.

The Senators are hoping Joseph can produce some depth scoring for them. He’s got rights to arbitration and Tampa was going to have a tough time keeping him.

“He’s an elite skater and a top penalty killer,” a league executive said. “He’s aggressive and he’s tough to play against.”

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