NHL Rumours: Big Name Talent Still on Ottawa Senators' Radar

Taylor GiffinCorrespondent IIJuly 8, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 30:  Alexander Semin #28 of the Washington Capitals handles the puck against Andrej Sekera #44 of the Buffalo Sabres at the Verizon Center on September 30, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

There were minor rumblings a while back that the Ottawa Senators were making a very strong pitch to Scott Howson and the Columbus Blue Jackets to gain the services of winger Rick Nash.

That has slowly died down, but with the Nash sweepstakes always on the go you never know what might happen.

At the moment, it seems like the Ottawa Senators have left that alone and have turned their attention to other players throughout the league.

One of these players is Anaheim Ducks winger, Bobby Ryan.

He has been the subject of trade rumours all the way back into last year and has since asked for a trade out of Anaheim—and out of the surrounding trade controversy involving him.

Ryan told Randy Miller of Courier Post Online that:

"I take things personally. Anaheim to me has been a team over the past year that really has shown me nothing to prove that they want me here, unfortunately. Obviously, it's not the ideal situation. I gotta be honest with you. At this point, I don't care. Move me ... because it's just tough going to the rink every day knowing that if something goes wrong, you're going to be the guy moved."

With these comments made just over two weeks ago, it seems like a deal has to be done in the somewhat near future. The Senators are now a team that is rumoured to be interested in the disgruntled Duck.

As Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported:

"While the Senators believe top prospects Jacob Silfverberg and Mark Stone and newly-signed winger Guillaume Latendresse are going to battle for spots, don't be surprised if Ottawa is in the Ryan sweepstakes."

Garrioch also noted that sources believe Ottawa is one of the teams thought to make an offer to the Ducks for Ryan, who may be looking for a defenceman after losing Justin Schultz.

The Senators are still under the cap floor and will need to find someone to get them there. Picking up Ryan's $5.1 million contract will help them do that.

It will also benefit the Anaheim Ducks, who will eventually need extra cap space to sign Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf to new contracts.

With the Senators' previous interest in Rick Nash, it comes as no surprise that they are in the market to acquire a top level player at the forward position.

With that in mind, there is also talk that the Senators could be one of the teams that make the gamble on former Washington Capital Alexander Semin.

Semin is considered the top free agent left to be signed after making $6.7 million last year in Washington. Amid speculation that he may have been leaving North America for the KHL, David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period tweeted the following:

CSKA (KHL team) has an offer on the table for Semin, but so do several NHL clubs. Told by very reliable source, Semin wants to be in NHL.

— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 5, 2012

It seems that if teams do not step up to the plate, Semin may have no choice but to take the deal in Russia. The Senators, however, do seem to be one of those teams that could be interested.

Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun relays part of a message that was received from Semin's agent, Mark Gandler:

"In an email to the Sun Friday, Gandler stated that he thinks Semin 'would fit very nicely in Ottawa' and would 'want to play there under the right circumstances.' He refused to comment as to whether or not the Senators had contacted him about Semin."

Brennan also believes, just as the Bobby Ryan trade would accomplish, that Semin can fill the gap the Ottawa Senators have to hit the cap floor:

"All Semin would really cost them is money they need to spend."

Semin has shown to be an offensive force in the league, putting up 90 points in the 2006-07 season. He has yet to play in a full season–with the most games being played set at 77– putting him in the category of being an injury-prone player.

Having the likes of Chris Neal in the lineup may take out the chance of opponents taking unnecessary shots at him, however.

There is no denying that Semin has talent; he has scored 30 or more goals three times already in his short career. If he and Jason Spezza could find chemistry together it could be dangerous, and it would be a very welcome addition to any Senators fan.

Although the Senators are not the only team interested in each of these players, they will likely make a strong push if they consider the price too high on Nash or if they do not see themselves as a fit for him.

Bobby Ryan provides size and strength coupled with very good offensive skills. A player like him would be a welcome addition on any team. He is tough to play against when he is on his game.

As for Semin, he would be a good fit for the team if they can get a fair price for him in a short-term deal. If they can make sure that he stays focused on the game, he can be as dangerous as anybody when it comes to scoring goals and providing offence.

Each of these players would add to the Ottawa Senators team and it should be expected that they will make a push for one or the other. There is too much noise surrounding the team recently that they are likely to stay put until the start of the year.