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Jakob Chychrun: Steve Staios lost his poker game
Credit: Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Pierre Dorion’s Senators used to want to speed up their rebuilding.

Actually, no: I can’t say that. Because, according to Pierre Dorion, the rebuilding has already been completed in Ottawa for two long years. Remember what the former GM said?

Obviously, things aren’t going well on the ice. And the problem is that among the prospects drafted in recent years, it’s not necessarily a rosy picture.

Why not? Mainly because of two transactions.

When Pierre Dorion got his hands on Alex DeBrincat, he gave away a seventh overall pick in 2022, a 39th overall pick in 2022 and a third-round pick in 2024 for a guy two years away from independence. The result? DeBrincat forced the Sens to trade him at a loss.

Dorion also acquired Jakob Chychrun a year and a half ago. The defenseman cost the 12th overall pick in 2023, the 49th overall pick this year and a second-round pick in 2026.

And now, Steve Staios has been forced to trade Chychrun at a loss, who is currently a year away from his autonomy. We’ll come back to this.

That’s a lot of picks given to guys who were two (or two and a half) years away from autonomy. At least when Kent Hughes moves like that, he has the decency to go after guys with five years to go. #KirbyDach #AlexNewhook

The result? The Sens, in the last three years, have drafted once in the first round, twice in the second and once in the third. By 2023, the club had no top-100 picks. Not ideal for a rebuilding club…

(Credit: Hockey DB)

With a club that hasn’t moved forward in two years, with rumors of a move still up in the air and with a bank of prospects that is slim (in January, The Athletic ranked the Senators 31st in the league), let’s just say that past mistakes hurt.

And that brings us back to the present.

In trying to fix the “Chychrun” mistake of 2023, Steve Staios made one of the worst transactions since the start of the off-season. After all, he had nothing against his defenseman.

Trading such a defenseman (who may be a year away from free agency, but still) for Nick Jensen and a third-round pick in 2026 didn’t exactly make the Sens boss look like a genius.

Now, we learn that Staios tried to play poker. The Senators’ president, Darren Dreger reported, was telling his counterparts that he had first-round and second-round picks on the table, but wanted more.

No one believed him, as far as we can tell.

Maybe Staios played his cards wrong. But honestly, I think a lot of executives around the league thought this: if Chychrun isn’t traded, he’ll be free as a bird in a year. Why overpay?

Whether it’s the fault of Staios (whose job it was to maximize his player’s value and who didn’t, in my opinion) or whether he’s a victim of past mistakes (which isn’t completely untrue either), it proves that the Sens are in trouble. They don’t have a great present… or a great future.


– The Panthers’ guys have a sense of humor.

– Please note.

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