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2010 NHL Trade Deadline: To the surprise of no one, Senators targeting defensemen

To say that the Ottawa Senators are in third place in the Eastern Conference is surprising is an understatement. Yet there they are, winners of 14 of their last 16 games and playing the best hockey in Ottawa since 2008.

What’s abnormal about their standing in the East stems mostly from the fact that the Senators are the only team in the top 12 in the NHL to have a point different in the negative (minus-1). They’re having some issues scoring goals, sort of, but their defense and goaltending have been a bit a bit suspect as well (amazingly, they are near the top in the NHL in shots allowed per game). Yet the Senators are drastically thin on defense, and that’s where Aaron Ward might come in...

The Senators are gearing up for a playoff run that is hopefully a bit more successful than their last attempt, and currently have just six healthy defensemen on the roster, two of which are on entry-level contracts. So it stands within reason that they’ll be targeting a defensemen at the trade deadline. Of course, GM Bryan Murray says they need to maintain team chemistry.

“Some of the guys I’m talking to now -- and I don’t know all of the defencemen -- I do know the personality of the defenceman, and I just want to get a good guy,” Murray said. “He doesn’t have to be a star, he just has to be able to play some games. Just don’t come and rock the boat.”

Could that player be the Hurricanes’ Aaron Ward? He’ll be a free agent this summer, but he’ll certainly provide a veteran presence on the blue line for the playoffs and he’s not necessarily a guy who it going to ‘rock the boat’. What’s going to be tough for Murray is that every team knows they need a defenseman; but if he’s going to try and not oversell, while still fighting to keep the feel of his team intact, then good on him.