couldnt afford 2nd t
Joined: Sep 2021
The Senators need to save cash for performance bonuses and an eventual Tkachuk signing.
They have been after a top 6 forward all summer, but I assume any deal was contingent on another team taking Tierney and his 4.2M salary (3.5M AAV) to help offset any salary coming in.
I highly doubt Sanford is their top choice for a top 6 forward. I think they had to hit the cap floor, while spending as little as possible. They also needed to add a forward they felt could play in their top 6, because Tkachuk won't be signed anytime soon, and they will start the season without him. This means, they couldn't make a move to add an insured LTIR contract. They needed an actual player.
Whether coincidental or not, Sanford gets them right above the lower limit of the cap. This will require the Senators being a bit flexible with their 13th F & 8th D, but they can mostly ice the same roster they were expected to ice and now be cap compliant. I assume they will sign Ennis to a SPC at 1M, which will give them some additional flexibility. With how close they are to the cap floor, even a five figure difference in an AAV change the combination of players they can add to their roster.
Even if I am wrong about their budget, and they do make further additions, adding Sanford at least removes the additional leverage other teams in trade talks or Tkachuk have with the Senators needing to make a move to hit the cap floor.
As far as Brown goes, it doesn't matter if he becomes a top 6 forward. Sometimes the relationship between a team and a player deteriorates to the point where it is over. That was clearly the case here. There have been rumblings for the last year or so that one or both sides are unhappy. Brown clearly had very little trade value. He also is no longer waiver exempt. There was a reasonable chance that without a trade, the Senators were going to place him on waivers. He is super skilled, but cannot stay healthy, and has questionable drive. Sanford is what he is at this point, but there is that distant chance that the younger Brown could become a real good player for St.Louis.
Sanford is unlikely to be extended in Ottawa because of the long term outlook of their contracts and budgets. I can imagine at the trade deadline when the Senators trade Sanford as a rental, that they will recoup whatever pick they would have gotten for Brown this summer. Assuming the offers for Brown were bad, the Senators made the right move.
This is probably the definition of a win/win trade, but long term there is way more upside for St.Louis.