NHL Rumors: It Could Be a Busy Offseason for the Ottawa Senators

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: The Ottawa Senators took a step in the right direction this year. One of their offseason priorities is to find a right winger for Tim Stuetzle through trade or free agency. The Sens have already done a lot of groundwork on this.

They will need to sign pending RFA forward Josh Norris to an extension.

Pending UFAs that won’t be brought back include Chris Tierney, Tyler Ennis and Scott Sabourin. RFA defenseman Victor Mete has already asked for a trade and likely won’t be qualified if he’s not moved.

Defenseman Michael Del Zotto received some interest at the trade deadline and could be moved this offseason.

The Senators were believed to be close to trading forward Colin White at the deadline and he could be moved this offseason. The Montreal Canadiens may have been the team interested in White. They could buy out his contract for one-third of his $13.375 million that is remaining. It would save them $10.5 million.

There are also questions surrounding Nikita Zaitsev, who has two years left at $4.5 million per.

It’s doubtful the Senators would buy out goaltender Matt Murray and it would be close to impossible to trade him.

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion has already met with some of their management staff to start planning out their offseason.

The Senators have the 7th best odds, 6.5%, to win the draft lottery. They can’t fall any lower than 9th.

The Sens would like to find a top-six right winger for Tim Stuetzle this offseason and possibly another defenseman.

They will be interested in Florida Panthers pending UFA Claude Giroux if he wins a Stanley Cup and wants to come home.

Kevin Fiala of the Minnesota Wild has been linked to the Senators. The Wild will try to find a way to fit in an extension for the RFA as opposed to trading him but they may be not able to.

The Senators have five draft picks in the first three rounds and could package one with a high-end prospect for some immediate help.

“When we started this rebuild we knew what needed to be done and we’ve probably followed the plan pretty much to the letter,” Dorion said Sunday. “At some point in time, the plan was probably to bring more character guys than top-end players through trades or free agents.”