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The Decision - Brady Tkachuk

Updated: Nov 19, 2018

I think it's unanimously agreed upon that the OTTAWA SENATORS are the biggest DUMPSTER FIRE in the NHL right now. They are going through one of the darkest times a team has ever experienced in over 100 years of the league’s history. It was only two years ago when they were shitting horse shoes out of their ass and ended up on a HEATER of a playoff run, which they couldn’t even sell out the building for, only to be ruined by the eventual cup champs. Have that one for lunch.

Chris Kunitz putting the Ottawa Senators to bed in double overtime of Game 7

It all started with the acquisition of Matt Duchene; almost a year to date on November 5, 2017 the Senators acquired Matt Duchene from Colorado in a 3-team trade. For Duchene, the Sens sent center Kyle Turris to Nashville while also giving up 2017 1st round pick. Shane Bowers, goalie Andrew Hammond, a 1st, and a 2nd round pick went to Colorado. Right from the outset of the trade I was confused why the Sens would go through with it. Sure, there were issues with extending Kyle Turris and they wanted to upgrade their first line center position, but was it worth everything they gave up? The Predators extended Turris to a 6 year $6 million AAV contract, while Duchene is an UFA after this season. If they had troubles paying Turris $6 million a year I have no idea how they will be willing to sign Duchene, who is going to get a TICKET. Not only did they barely upgrade their first line center position, they did it by giving up two 1st round picks, a 2nd, and their previous number one centreman. Just mind boggling in my opinion.

After this trade the Senators season fell apart and they ended up finishing 30th overall with 67 points (lol). This can be attributed to the lack of chemistry is the room. Primarily, Hoffman’s fiancé allegedly calling the Sens superstar defencemen’s wife a pill pusher, wanting her dead, her unborn child dead, and someone to end Erik Karlsson’s career. The Sens couldn’t catch a break and ended up losing all 3 lotteries, falling back two spots to the 4th overall pick.

Mike Hoffman and his fiancé

Now, this brings us back to the 1st rounder they gave up in the Duchene trade. The 1st round pick the Sens sent to Colorado was lottery protected, meaning if the Sens missed the playoffs and ended up in the lottery they had the choice to keep the pick and give the Avalanche their 2019 1st round pick instead, with no strings attached. This idea began to catch steam with all the negativity surrounding Ottawa after last year, as it seemed like they were about to go even further downhill instead of rebounding from an off year.

Just three days before the draft, the Sens traded Mike Hoffman to the San Jose Sharks, who decided to flip him to Florida only two hours later. Hoffman is now ripping it up with the Panthers and just set a franchise record for the most consecutive games with a point at 14, which is a tough look for the Sens and Pierre Dorion. This trade and the Karlsson trade seemed evident after the issues that came out of the Ottawa dressing room were made aware to the public. Because of this, the question of whether or not they should give the Avalanche the 2018 pick and keep their 2019 pick became a hot topic since it looks like the pick has a chance of being in the top 3. Only adding fuel to the fire is the fact that the top prospect of the 2019 draft, Jack Hughes, appears to be a generational talent.

2019 NHL Draft top prospect Jack Hughes

As much as I love shitting on the Sens as a Leafs fan, I can’t keep punching down so I’ll give them some praise. They decided to take Brady Tkachuk 4th overall and give up their 2019 1st round pick to Colorado, which I believe was the right choice. It’s obvious to see that the Sens are in full rebuild mode and it's really tough to not have their 1st round pick for next year. But even if they did, what are the actual chances they get the first overall selection? If they were to finish in last place this season the odds of them getting the first pick would be 18.5% and 50.6% they would again end up at number 4. These chances fall even further the higher up in the standings they finish. Not only is it hard to finish in last place with all the parity in the NHL, but with less than a 1/5 chance of landing the first overall pick, there is not that big of an incentive to #LoseforHughes.

There may be a lot of mixed opinions on this topic because the Sens fanbase has nothing to look forward to this season and there is now no hope at the first overall pick, but the organization had the opportunity to draft someone they obviously really liked, and they took it. Brady Tkachuk will not be a generational talent, but he is a game changer. The Tkachuk family bleeds grit and toughness, and it seems like Brady is going to follow his father and brother’s footsteps to be an impact player in the league. After putting up 61 points in 40 college games as a freshman with Boston University last year, Brady stepped into the NHL and despite getting hurt early in the season has scored 9 points in his first 9 games. Tkachuk can get on the scoresheet and impact the game in multiple ways, evident when he decided to pay his rent the hard way by giving it Justin Abdelkader.

Brady Tkachuk paying his rent

The 2018 draft was one of the most hyped drafts in recent memory and many players are forecasted to have an illustrious NHL career. Compared to the 2019 draft there are definitely more promising prospects from the 2018 draft, as it seems after Jack Hughes the draft is nothing special. This is one more reason I believe the Sens made the right choice. With a 81.5% chance they will finish with the 2nd– 4thpick in the draft, ONLY IF THEY FINSIH LAST OVERALL, it is too big of a gamble to take when you already have the opportunity to select an impact player.

Two months into the season, the Senators are already surpassing expectations and on November 19th they only sit 4 points out of a playoff spot and are 8 points up on the last place LA Kings. Nowadays, it is way too hard to determine who will finish last in the league with all the talented players and teams there are. If the Sens start to trend downwards later in the year they can still trade blue chip UFA stars, in Matt Duchene and Mark Stone, if they can’t get extensions worked out and end up with multiple 1st round picks and/or elite prospects.

Two years ago, the Avalanche had one of the worst seasons in NHL history and the year after that they made the playoffs. There are too many factors that can happen within the long grind of an NHL season to give up on your team before the campaign even starts. I give Pierre Dorion and Eugene Melnyk credit for the really tough decision they made at the draft and wish them and Brady Tkachuk the best of luck for the future. With the many young players they have in Thomas Chabot, Colin White, and Brady Tkachuk, there is a glimmer of hope within the Ottawa Senators organization. This year the club has to climb themselves out of the black hole they dug, stop taking Ubers, and hope to god they don’t end up giving away the first overall pick to Colorado. I would LOVE to see that happen and look forward to the Buds GIVING it to the Sens for multiple years to come.

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