SNAPSHOTS: Trade deadline looms large as Senators claim Jayce Hawryluk off waivers

FILE: Jayce Hawryluk. David_Bloom David Bloom / Postmedia

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Breaking up is hard to do, but on Family Day the Ottawa Senators were preparing themselves for that possibility.

With the NHL trade deadline set for Monday, Feb. 24 at 3 p.m., the Senators had the day off to kick back and relax after a gutsy 4-3 overtime win over the Dallas Stars Sunday to close out the weekend but the speculation is only going to get louder as they prepare to host the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night at the Canadian Tire Centre with Chris Phillips jersey No. 4 being pulled to the rafters in a pre-game ceremony.

Chris Phillips. Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo / Getty Images

The Senators made one roster move Monday by claiming forward Jayce Hawryluk off waivers from the Florida Panthers at noon. Bringing in the 24-year-old gives GM Pierre Dorion flexibility to move out forwards and the club can have a look at the restricted free agent down the stretch.

“Jayce Hawryluk is a highly competitive two-way forward whose addition we’re looking forward to seeing in our lineup,” Dorion said in a statement. “He’s an energetic, puck pursuit-type of player who should mesh well under D.J. Smith and our current roster.”

FILE: Jayce Hawryluk. David_Bloom David Bloom / Postmedia

The club has 10 unrestricted free agents on its roster and the belief is a few of them may attraction attention from contenders looking for depth. There’s no question Dorion is fielding calls on centre Jean-Gabriel Pageau and defenceman Dylan DeMelo while veterans Ron Hainsey and goaltender Craig Anderson may also draw interest.

Alternate captain Mark Borowiecki would have been on the list but he suffered a high ankle sprain and is out indefinitely. Winger Tyler Ennis has 14 goals but let’s be honest he gets lots of playing time here and he isn’t going to get that role with a contender so it would be hard to believe there’d be much interest.

The sense is the Senators will make a run at trying to sign Pageau this week before making a decision on whether to keep him or not. People think the club should be able to get a first-round pick in exchange but it’s doubtful that will be the case. Ottawa already has three second round picks in June.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

The Senators could always keep Pageau and make a decision in the off-season without the pressure of the deadline because he’s a good fit here but Hawryluk’s arrival puts that possibility in doubt.

It doesn’t feel like DeMelo will be in an Ottawa uniform much longer. Several teams are looking for help on defence – including Calgary, Tampa, Winnipeg and Vegas – and there’s a sense the two sides aren’t in the same ball park in contract discussions. The second-round pick the Devils received for captain Andy Greene from the New York Islanders may set the marketplace in these trade talks.

ALSO: TRADE DEADLINE: An in-depth look at Pierre Dorion’s trade history with the Ottawa Senators

DeMelo to Vegas makes sense because he’d be reunited with former San Jose coach Peter DeBoer but we’ll see where this goes.

The bottom line: The next six days will be interesting around here.

Oilers forward Jujhar Khaira (16) and Ottawa Senators defensemen Dylan DeMelo (2). Perry Nelson / USA TODAY Sports

STRONG VICTORY

The Senators closed out the weekend with a solid victory over the Stars.

Winger Brady Tkachuk led the way with a three-point effort while Artem Anisimov scored the winner in overtime on Dallas goalie Anton Khudobin while Pageau and Ennis also chipped in with goals.

The Senators outshot the Stars 46-39 and had a solid effort from Anderson in the net.

“I thought we were pretty solid from start to finish,” said Anderson. “There were no lulls in that game. I thought we were 20 guys pulling on the same rope at the same time. We were playing fast and playing hard, possessing the puck when we had too, I don’t think we were punting the puck too many times. I thought we were playing with poise and confidence.”

Anthony Duclair (10) shoots on Dallas Stars goalie Anton Khudobin (35) in the third period at the Canadian Tire Centre. Marc DesRosiers / USA TODAY Sports

Dallas is one of the best defensive teams in the league and the Senators had no shortage of scoring chances – including winger Anthony Duclair. He had some glorious opportunities in the six shots on net he recorded but saw his scoring slump extended to 21 games.

“It’s tough but it’s great that he’s getting lots of chances,” said Smith. “He’s playing well, he’s skating well and he looks more confident. I thought (Sunday) was probably his best game in 10. He was dangerous. He looked like he did when he was scoring every night.”

For his part, Khudobin had some advice for Tkachuk, who was given two minutes for diving in the second period. Khudobin allowed Tkachuk to draw him into an interference penalty only 39 seconds into the third period.

“I told him (he’s) too young to dive,” Khudobin told reporters in the Dallas room post-game. “I mean, great player and not a problem but there’s no diving in hockey. That’s it, bottom line.”

The Ottawa Senators’ Mark Borowiecki Ian Kucerak / Postmedia

THE LAST WORDS

Borowiecki, who suffered a high ankle sprain Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes, will be out at least week and certainly sounds like more. Borowiecki will have more tests on the right ankle this week to determine how long he’s going to be gone but Smith doesn’t expect to see him any time soon. “There’s no timetable but it doesn’t look like it’s very soon either,” Smith said Sunday.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s long-term but it’s pretty swollen and not playing here in the next week or so any way.”

Smith said he isn’t sure if it’s similar to the high ankle sprain suffered by Nick Paul in January.

“I thought Nick jumped back in fairly quick,” he said. “It’s tough to tell how you respond but I think most of the time with those things there’s always that four-to-six week thought process. You never know until the swelling goes down and how you feel when you put a skate on.”

bgarrioch@postmedia.com

Twitter: @sungarrioch

 

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