The NHL lockout may be ongoing, but there’s speculation Sergei Gonchar might not be a Senators for long post-lockout.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch suggests defenseman Sergei Gonchar won’t finish a shortened season with the Senators, as he’s reportedly been targeted for trade by the his former club, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Gonchar is in the final season of his current contract and the 38-year-old is eligible for UFA status next summer. Garrioch cites sources claiming Penguins GM Ray Shero wants to bring Gonchar back, though it’s unknown if they’ll wait until whenever this season’s trade deadline or make a pitch soon after a CBA is signed. He also suggests Gonchar will be gone via free agency so it might be best for the Senators to get what they can for him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Assuming the Penguins want to bring Gonchar back, the earliest could be near whenever a trade deadline would be set for a lockout-shortened season. The Senators, as Garrioch noted, would be without Jared Cowen, who is out for the season due to hip surgery, so it would be more sensible to keep Gonchar for at least half the season to determine if moving him won’t hurt their blueline depth. As for the Penguins, they’ll also wish to see how things shake out with their roster before making any significant moves.