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Friday February 20, 2009 10:50 pm

Senators Land Comrie In Pre-Deadline Trade

Mike Comrie

On Friday the Ottawa Senators acquired a familiar face, Mike Comrie, in addition to Defenceman Chris Campoli from the New York Islanders for veteran left winger Dean McAmmond and the rights to a first round draft pick. Comrie has long been rumored to be the subject of a possible trade; his contract expires after the end of the 2008-2009 NHL season, and his uninspired play this season hasn’t made him a popular figure among Islander fans.

“It’s an exciting place to play and a great group of guys and I’m obviously thrilled about the opportunity to play on a great team,” said Comrie upon hearing of the trade.

From the perspective of the Ottawa Senators, this trade is a clear win. Dean McAmmond is a solid veteran presence, and wasn’t a negative influence on the Sens’ roster, but he wasn’t a must keep player at this year’s trading deadline. With just three goals scored on the season, Ottawa’s receiving superior production from Mike Comrie, and superior potential from Chris Campoli. Additionally, Campoli’s above average defensive ability should make starting goalie Brian Elliot’s life easier.

The wild card in this deal is the first round draft pick from the Senators (acquired earlier in the season from the San Jose Sharks). While Islanders GM Garth Snow may use the pick as his rationalization for making the trade, dealing a talented young athlete for a draft pick typically offsets the very purpose of getting a draft pick. The Islanders will almost certainly be looking for a Defenceman in the early rounds (having drafted forwards Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo in 2008 and 2006 respectively), so why not just stick with the 24 year old Campoli?

Following the announcement of the deal, Senators GM Bryan Murray lauded Campoli’s ability.

“Obviously, we feel we’ve acquired a Defenceman that will give us the skill at the back that we’ve been talking about all year,” Murray said. “He’s young he’s mobile, he plays power play, he makes a good first pass. We feel he can bring some good play to our team.”

With the trading deadline set on March 4th, it’s a safe bet that we’ll be seeing more activity from each of these organizations before all is said and done. The Senators are a few games out of a potential playoff spot, and it’s certain that they’ll try to bring in as many key players as possible. Meanwhile, this trade may well have signaled the beginning of a much needed fire sale. Team captain Bill Guerin, Doug Weight, Mark Streit…well, just about every player not named Josh Bailey or Kyle Okposo should be available. The Isles are clearly in the early stages of a rebuilding process, and it should be intriguing to see how it plays out.

Gallery: Senators Land Comrie In Pre-Deadline Trade

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