The Ottawa Senators have acquired F Derek Stepan from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a 2021 second round pick. Ottawa previously acquired the second rounder from Columbus when they traded away Ryan Dzingel.
Off the bat, this trade really doesn\’t make much sense for Ottawa. While Stepan has been a valuable center in the past, he has really fallen off the past two seasons. The Senators have the cap space for Stepan, and if he performs they can flip him at the trade deadline, but giving up a valuable asset for him seems out of place. Even if he plays like prime Derek Stepan, I highly doubt Ottawa could even get a second back at the deadline. Even then, it is very unlikely Stepan can elevate his game on one of the league\’s worst teams.
Stepan, 30, scored 10 goals with 18 assists for 28 points in 70 games last year. In his NHL career for the Coyotes and New York Rangers, Stepan has 167 goals with 312 assists for 479 points in 739 games.
The Coyotes will be satisfied with this trade. They need cap space, and they free some up with this deal, and they can get a valuable draft pick back. Per Evolving-Hockey, Stepan hasn\’t been worth more than his $6.5 million cap hit since 2016-17, before he joined Arizona. This move could mean that Nick Schmaltz moves up with Clayton Keller and Phil Kessel, while Christian Dvorak moves to center. The Coyotes could now be able to afford an extra forward in free agency, maybe along the lines of Andreas Athanasiou, Brian Boyle or Derrick Brassard.