With the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline quickly approaching, Mile High Hockey is taking a look at possible trade candidates for the Colorado Avalanche. So far, forwards such as Jake DeBrusk, Alex Iaffalo, and Kyle Palmieri have been named. Other positions have also been looked at. However, today we will be looking at someone who might be a lower price than some of the other names mentioned. That player would be Ryan Dzingel of the Ottawa Senators.
Dzingel has had mixed reviews over the past couple of seasons. He was a huge part of the Senators' 2017 playoff run and saw success with the team in 2018 too. At the 2018 trade deadline, he was dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets for two 2nd round picks and Anthony Duclair. That deal was a disaster for Columbus as Dzingel didn’t fit with Torts and his system, while Duclair thrived in Ottawa.
That offseason, Dzingel signed a two-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. This deal was also a disaster as Dzingel finished with just 33 points in 75 games over two seasons with the Canes. He was dealt back to Ottawa this season where he once again has seemed to have found his game. He is a versatile player who can play both wings and centre. Lately, he has been mainly playing the left in Ottawa.
Since returning to Ottawa, Dzingel has six goals and two assists in 14 games played on the fourth line. He has become a solid depth piece for Ottawa giving them speed and some skill on their fourth line. His numbers don’t pop out exactly, but six goals in 14 games is a 35 goal pace over a full season. For someone just in a fourth-line role, that is nothing to complain about.
Dzingel’s underlying numbers haven’t been thrilling in Ottawa. However, he also hasn’t played with the best linemates either. Austin Watson, Artem Anisimov, and Clarke Bishop are three of his most common linemates. Dzingel ranks 11th of 16 Senators forwards in both CF% and xGF% with a 47.89% and 45.68% respectively. He is not someone who will drive his own line, but make him the second or third best player on a line and he could be a great depth fit.
The numbers don’t exactly jump off the page when you look at Dzingel lately. So, where is the fit with the Avalanche? Dzingel would be a perfect option if the Avs feel they need to shore up their depth at forward. Some of the other names listed earlier are big-ticket names that may cost some hefty assets. For Dzingel, the Sens shouldn’t expect a haul for him and that’s what could make him so desirable.
The reason Dzingel could be a fit on this Avs team is his shooting ability and speed. Dzingel has a knack for scoring some big goals, even when he is further down the lineup and that’s exactly what they need. The Avs already have seen some great replacement depth when needed this year, but you can never have too many pieces.
The other great thing about Dzingel is how he can fit up and down the lineup. Ideally, he is sitting on your bottom line and giving them an injection of skill and speed. However, if someone like Brandon Saad went down for a game or two, Dzingel would be more than capable of sliding up. It’s not a long-term fit that you want but he has a history of playing in the top-six in Ottawa and has done it at times elsewhere too. This experience could prove extremely helpful down the stretch when guys are trying to get healthy or even in the playoffs. To win 16 games is an absolute grind, and almost no team will remain healthy through it all. Giving yourself options is key and that’s what Dzingel would do.
This will be the most intriguing thing. Dzingel is a UFA and his cap hit is $3.375 million. He has a remaining daily cap hit of $989,224, which means come deadline time, the Avs could fit him under the cap without having to move a contract back the other way. If Ottawa retains anywhere up to 50% of the salary, this becomes even easier.
The cost for Dzingel could be familiar to what the Avs paid for a rental from Ottawa last season in Vladislav Namestnikov. Dzingel’s all-round game may not be as string but he has way more offensive upside. Namestnikov was dealt for a 2021 Fourth Round pick. Which obviously means Colorado has no fourth to trade this season. However, they do have a third, fifth, and seventh. Getting Dzingel for a fifth may be possible, or even sending next season's fourth is an option too.
If Ottawa prefers bulk, maybe a combo of a fifth and seventh gets the job done. Another option would be to send the Avs third this season but get a later pick back. Ottawa doesn’t have their fourth or fifth in this year’s draft, but they do have a sixth and seventh. There are plenty of options to look from, but it seems likely that Dzingel should be available for at most a fourth-round pick.