Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Trade: Blue Jackets load up with Dzingel; Senators load up on picks

The Columbus Blue Jackets were active at the trade deadline making deals for Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Adam McQuaid and Keith Kinkaid, but their biggest move may have been one they didn't make.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are eliminating any doubts that they’re going all-in this season. Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators are going all-out ... as in, trading everyone out.

One day after the Blue Jackets sent a bunch of assets to Ottawa for Matt Duchene, the two teams made another significant swap on Saturday. The Blue Jackets landed another Senators center in Ryan Dzingel, while picks are the biggest takeaways for the Senators.

The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman are among those who reported these full trade terms, which were later confirmed:

Blue Jackets receive: Ryan Dzingel, Calgary Flames’ 2019 seventh-round pick.

Senators get: Anthony Duclair, 2020 second-rounder, 2021 second-rounder.

Dzingel’s strange mix

Honestly, my intentional reaction was that the Senators won big here, and that Dzingel’s numbers have been pumped up by playing on a team that needed all the offensive help it can get. Yet, at the same time, it’s probably fair to excuse some of the minuses with Dzingel’s defensive game because the Senators have to be rough on most player’s possession numbers, right? Maybe?

That wicked shot might be the most curious thing about Dzingel, by the way.

Dzingel’s already generated a career-high of 44 points in just 57 games, blowing away last year’s previous career-high of 41 points in 79 contests. When you consider the disparity in those numbers, and Dzingel’s 16.5 shooting percentage this season, you’d think that every sign points to this being a mirage.

To some extent, maybe that’s true.

But, interestingly, Dzingel’s career shooting percentage is very high, too, at 14.9. That’s not through a small sample size, either, as it’s over 247 regular-season games.

With the 26-year-old (turning 27 on March 9) headed for free agency, Dzingel will have every incentive to keep his hot streak going. With that in mind, the two second-round picks is still a steep price, but maybe worth it for Columbus?

Dzingel’s soon-to-expire cap hit is at $1.8 million.

Duclair and a bunch of picks

Speaking of potentially misleading hot years, Duclair hasn’t been able to follow up an outstanding 2015-16 season, when he scored 20 goals and 44 points while riding a 19 shooting percentage alongside Max Domi in Arizona.

Duclair feels like a throw-in for this trade, but maybe he can at least work his way to earn a regular NHL gig? Ottawa marks his fifth team already.

He hasn’t always received steady opportunities in recent years, and really landed in John Tortorella’s doghouse as the 2018-19 season went along.

Ottawa has every reason to let Duclair show what he can do, assuming they bring the 23-year-old back. (He’s a pending RFA.)

But, no doubt, this trade is about Ottawa loading up on picks. Ottawa’s already stacked a ton of them between this Dzingel trade, the Duchene swap on Friday, and the Erik Karlsson trade before the season. The various conditions make it downright dizzying to try to keep track of all of those picks, honestly, and things could get even more complicated if the Senators trade Mark Stone as well.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.