Ottawa Senators right wing Bobby Ryan (9) celebrates his goal against the New York Islanders with teammates Ryan Dzingel and Matt Duchene during third period NHL hockey in Ottawa, Tuesday, March 27, 2018. There’s a good chance the Ottawa Senators’ roster will look significantly different by the time they return home from their four-game road trip. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

Senators hope road trip will provide reprieve from trade talk as deadline looms

OTTAWA — There’s a good chance the Ottawa Senators’ roster will look significantly different by the time they return home from their four-game road trip.

Any or all of impact players Mark Stone, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel could soon be on the move as the Feb. 25 trade deadline approaches. Magnus Paajarvi and Anders Nilsson are also set to become unrestricted free agents and could be dealt.

“I would say there’s a lot of guys carrying a bigger suitcase,” Senators forward Bobby Ryan said. “You take it for what it is because it’s that time of year and we’re in a results driven business and we’re not getting them. You feel for the guys who are really going through it, but that being said you’ve still got to go to work and still get to the rink and get the job done.”

The Senators are off to Detroit, Winnipeg, Chicago and New Jersey before returning home for a meeting with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Feb.22. Players are hopeful the road trip can serve as a bit of a distraction from all the trade talks.

“The good news is we’ll be out of Canada for most of it so you’re not going to see it every time you turn the TV on and those guys aren’t going to hear it and be part of it every second of every day,” Ryan said. “There will be some relief in that sense, but I can’t imagine what the three that are really in the middle of it are going through. You just try to be a good teammate and answer questions if they have them, if not you let them go about their business.”

Added defenceman Dylan DeMelo: “It will be good to get on the road and hang with the guys and get away from the TV and stuff like that. I think the guys are doing a good job being professionals, but being on the road is maybe a bit of an excuse to stay away from the outside noise. It will be on all of us to stay focused and keep it to business as usual.”

The Senators (21-30-5) sit dead last in the standings, which usually means change is inevitable, but the question remains how big will the changes be. Losing any combination of Stone, Duchene or Dzingel will have a significant impact.

Stone leads the Senators in scoring with 26 goals and 31 assists, while Duchene is second with 25 goals and 28 assists. Both are alternate captains and provide leadership that would be hard to replace. Dzingel is fourth in team scoring with 21 goals and 20 assists and has developed into a solid top-six forward.

“I think we’ve done a good job dealing with all the speculation and the guys are doing a good job keeping the distractions outside the room,” said forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau. “We have a lot of guys who’ve been through trade deadlines before and we’re making sure to help the younger ones deal with the distraction of it all.”

Pageau understands changes are inevitable and players have difficult choices to make, but says the group will deal with whatever happens as a team.

“We’re a very tight group this year and we support each other regardless of what’s going on whether it’s stuff on the ice or off and that’s exactly how we’re going to deal with this road trip and anything that happens.”

Just Posted

NEB gives Trans Mountain pipeline expansion its endorsement

CALGARY — The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the… Continue reading

Regulator’s report unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline expansion battle

CALGARY — An environmental group that tried to widen the scope of… Continue reading

Red Deer firefighter is recovering, thanks community for support

Firefighters who help together, stick together. Red Deer firefighter medic Ben Barthel,… Continue reading

Biathlon women sweep the podium for second time

Biathlon women took top four spots in Thursday’s 10-km race

Zion’s freak injury ripples in basketball, business worlds

DURHAM, N.C. — Soon after Zion Williamson’s shoe ripped apart, Nike’s stock… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Must have wardrobe basics

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Rabbits saved from barn fire in Ponoka County

The Ponoka County East District Fire Department was called to a barn fire

Abel begins diving season on brink of record for most worlds medals

MONTREAL — Jennifer Abel could make history this summer in Gwangju, South… Continue reading

On eve of return to Toronto, former Raptors star DeRozan says he’s “moved on”

TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan has found closure. When the player once fondly… Continue reading

ACTRA to honour actress Jayne Eastwood who says being on set is her ‘happy place’

TORONTO — Looking back on her five decades in show business, Toronto… Continue reading

If proven, Smollett allegations could be a ‘career killer’

LOS ANGELES — Jussie Smollett is enmeshed in weekly drama on the… Continue reading

Ponoka host to Bayer Crop Science seed innovations trade show

The company held a trade show with seed crop science industry partners at the ag event centre

Gaudreau snaps goal drought to help Flames double up Islanders 4-2

CALGARY — The drought is over for Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau’s first goal… Continue reading

Federal government set to develop code of conduct for sport in Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government is developing a code of conduct for… Continue reading

Most Read