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Okotoks, AB • Canada • 27 Years Old • Male
This has been quite the off-season for the Ottawa Senators and Andrej Meszaros.

After the Sens completely tanked the regular season and barely put up a fight in round 1 of the playoffs, possibly their top RFA refuses to sign a long-term contract with the club, pushing for as much money as possible.

Now the Ottawa Senators have shipped Andrej Meszaros to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Filip Kuba, Alexandre Picarde and a 1st Rounder (via San Jose).

I have to say it benefits both teams.

But, advantage .... Ottawa.

What a move by Bryan Murray.

Meszaros had turned into a bad headache for a team already reeling with many apparent locker-room issues that may have contributed to their colossal collapse at the end of last season. It was clear that this situation wasn't going to help anything. Murray had already gotten rid of Ray Emery, who was another source of problems in the locker room so it was clear that one of his objectives this off-season was to give the boys a fresh start... free of any problems.

In return, the Sens pick up Kuba... a very serviceable defenseman, capable of logging 15-18 minutes and spending a bit of time on the PP. True, he probably has a bit of a turnover problem, but he can contribute to a team.

They also picked up Picarde. A promising young defenseman. Although it doesn't look really good that two teams have essentially given up on him over the last half-year. But I think he's the big part of this deal. The part that Murray probably believes can be every bit as good as Meszaros and replace his production. That, I couldn't agree with more.

Throw a 1st rounder (likely a late one) in the mix... and they might just be able to pick up another really solid prospect just like Meszaros once was, 23rd pick of the 2004 draft.

Talk about making the best out of a bad situation. Bryan Murray should be applauded for this move. Yes, it will be tough to see Meszaros go. He brought a lot to the team and played a lot of minutes for someone his age.

As for the Lightning. They get a guy who moves right up to the top pair of their rather weak defense. He's going to play Bouwmeester-like minutes and contribute on the power-play.

I think Bryan Murray just couldn't justify giving a 3rd year pro a 4 mil per year contract. And I don't blame him. When compared to the contracts signed by Mathieu Carle, Marc-Eduard Vlasic, Brent Seabrook and others, Meszaros had a lot of bargaining power behind him.

There's no such thing as the second RFA contract anymore thanks to a couple desperate GMs. And 22-23 year old defenseman are at that spot where they can really go either way... take the next step and become a top pair defenseman, or stay the same, having peaked early and then have to be prepared for a few years of criticism for a contract that's too high.

From a Flames perspective, some can argue that I've just contradicted exactly what Darryl Sutter did with Dion Phaneuf. The difference is that Dion is a Norris Trophy candidate and a top 10 defenseman, if not higher, in the league with the potential to become one of the best. Is Meszaros one of those guys? I don't think so.

Great move by Murray, I don't think they feel the loss of Meszaros at all.
Filed Under:   Meszaros   Senators   Lightning   Kuba   Picarde   Flames  
August 29, 2008 9:08 PM ET | Delete
Based on age, and ability i give advantage to bolts. however I do agree with your points on Ottawa having to do something to change things up to help out the locker room.
August 29, 2008 9:48 PM ET | Delete
I think Tampa got the best player in the deal without giving up the farm so they win. Its really up to the pick to prove otherwise or on Picard to develop into a better player. But I think Meszaros will always be the best defenseman in this trade. Considering the position Murray was in, I think he was able to get a pretty solid return though. Kids nowadays in the NHL, so greedy! I don't want to know what Bouwmeester and Meszaros will ask for when they're 30......
August 29, 2008 9:50 PM ET | Delete
lol... yeah, you guys are right with Meszaros being the best player in the deal hands down... I'm a believer in Picarde though!
August 30, 2008 12:20 AM ET | Delete
Until we see what Meszy signs for I'd call it a draw, Ottawa eliminates a potentional headache for a solid team first dman in Kuba and the potential to bring up 2 more capable dmen (picard and the draft pick if they draft a dman with it), Tampa now has a top flight d-man that they were missing. Mind you it would be funny to see Meszy sign an offer sheet and leave tampa already.
August 30, 2008 11:58 AM ET | Delete
I am going to have to say that Ottawa won this deal by a longshot. Meszaros is a good player, but hes not one of the top defenseman in the NHL. Picard is a solid pick-up, a top-4 defenseman, and Kuba is a role-playing defenseman who can get his job done. As for the first round pick, that throws it above and beyond in this deal for Ottawa. If Meszaros signs for $5 million, it would have just been wiser to keep Boyle and Lukowich around and trade one of the excess wingers the Lightning have. I feel the Lightning defense has become even weaker through this trade.
August 30, 2008 2:46 PM ET | Delete
Everyone was saying this was a move by Bryan Murray. No it was not a move by Bryan Murray, it was most likely the Tampa Bay aggressive owners. That being said, Ottawa wins the trade.
August 30, 2008 2:57 PM ET | Delete
I am failing to see how people can say Picard is a top 4 Dman. He has played under 100 games in the NHL, only 24 of which last season. He has potential to be a decent defender but he does not play up to size, and he's really needing to improve his skating. I'd rather have Meszaros on my back end then Kuba and Picard any day of the week.
August 30, 2008 3:36 PM ET | Delete
I think Ottawa got the better deal . They got rid of Mezaros who was asking for too much and could of been another disturbance in the room , while being able to pick u a first albeit SJ's but still a first rounder which they can either draft with or use as trade bait and a decent role playing D man and a good prospect who probably just needs the right system to flourishh under.
August 30, 2008 10:28 PM ET | Delete
I've seen Picard play many times with the Flyers. He's never going to be a top 4 defensemen IMO. Could turn into a serviceable third line pairing guy if you keep his minutes down. He can put the puck in the net a little, but thats about it. Very soft, turnover prone, and average speed. Kuba is average I guess, and the first round pick is what it is....TB def wins this trade by getting the best player, who is also young.
September 1, 2008 3:11 PM ET | Delete
XX: Apparently since his rookie year in Philly, Picard has excelled at big hits and being physical with opponents. He's putting it all together and has dropped the 'soft' and 'is afraid to use his size' labels. Which is why Murray made this deal - he had been scouting him for a while and was the key to this deal.
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