TORONTO — The Ottawa Senators may be looking to trade for a defenseman, according to general manager Pierre Dorion.
“Very active,” Dorion said after the general managers’ meeting on Tuesday. “Very active to see what happens, what happens. I wouldn’t tell you that our team is struggling. Obviously our record (5-9-1) doesn’t reflect the way I think we play. “
The Senators have used nine defensemen this season. Thomas Chabot, their No. 1 defenseman, suffered a concussion in a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday and was placed on the injured reserve. He should be gone at least a week. Artem Zub is also on the injured list and has missed the last seven games with an upper body injury.
Dorion said he was satisfied with the rookie defenseman’s play Jake Sandersonwho had seven assists and an average of 20:13 of ice time in 15 games. Jacob Bernard Dockeranother rookie, has averaged 19:11 of ice time in four games since being recalled from Belleville of the American Hockey League.
“I think we’ll just keep looking,” Dorion said. “If we can add external elements, we will look into that. But internally the players we called up performed well.”
He wants to wait and see if the inside options hold up for an extended period, but said if he decides to make a trade, there will be no shortage of potential partners. He joked that he was among the most popular people at the GM meeting.
“I had 29 friends here who were really trying to help me,” he said. “These meetings are a little bit different from the March meetings because in the March meetings you can’t trade anymore. Here you see a lot of guys sticking together and trying to figure things out and guys talking to each other .You can figure out what’s going on and if someone is in the market.”
The Senators haven’t qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2017. Hopes were raised in the offseason when they traded for forward Alex De Brincat and guardian Cam Talbot and signed in advance Claude Giroux on a three-year contract.
But the Senators are last in the Atlantic Division and have won their last nine games (1-7-1) after a 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday. They have allowed at least four goals in seven of nine games.
Dorion, however, remains confident in coach DJ Smith, saying, “Coaching is not the issue.”
So Dorion refuses to panic or be forced into a movement of desperation.
“At this time of year, I think we’re all trying to figure out where we’re going to be, where everyone is going to be… come Christmas,” he said. “We have to be a little patient, but we can’t let this go on for too long.”
The Senators will get a chance to get on the right track when they host the Buffalo Sabers on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, MSG-B, ESPN+).
Dorion said he believes the Senators are poised for consistent success, pointing to the number of one-goal games they’ve played and lamenting what he believes to be a series of bad breaks; Ottawa is 0-4-1 in games decided by one goal.
“Hopefully we can start to get a little lucky, but at the end of the day we have to start winning games,” he said.