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The Sports Daily > The 6th Sens
Rumour: Senators to Ask Phaneuf to Waive NMC
OTTAWA, CANADA – JANUARY 26: Dion Phaneuf #2 of the Ottawa Senators skates with the puck against Sam Bennett #93 of the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Canadian Tire Centre on January 26, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Normally I don’t read Don Brennan articles, but when I do, there’s usually a good reason for it.

Maybe it’s nothing or it could be something, but in buried in the depths of an article in yesterday’s Ottawa Sun, Brennan wrote, “it’s widely believed the Senators will protect Cody Ceci and Marc Methot along with Erik Karlsson, and ask Dion Phaneuf to waive his no-move with the thinking Las Vegas won’t touch the latter’s hefty contract.”

Ignoring the assertion that the Senators would shittily neglect to protect Chris Wideman – who they could obviously guard by exposing a more expensive veteran like Marc Methot or through trading an overvalued commodity like Cody Ceci – the idea that the Senators likely will ask Dion Phaneuf to waive his no-movement clause (NMC) makes a lot of sense (and really, it makes sense for tons of clubs around the NHL who are in a similar spot).

As unpalatable as Phaneuf’s contract is for Vegas, the Senators can use it to their advantage to protect a Ceci or a Methot, or an effective and inexpensive player like Wideman, who likely would fall victim to an expansion draft claim.

For the Senators, it should be a relatively easy sell.

For Pierre Dorion, it’d probably go something like this:

Dion, we love your character and willingness to do whatever it takes to help us improve our club. The thing is Las Vegas probably isn’t going to want to touch your contract. Unlike us, they don’t value your character and leadership like we do. I mean, you can’t put a price tag on what you bring to our dressing room. Okay granted, they also don’t have a bunch of bad short-term contracts that they have to move out because their owner refused to buy them out because of principle or the optics involved. Not only do they not have to worry about getting out from under short-term mistakes, they didn’t spend the previous few years thumping their chests or bragging about how competitive their team is thanks to their smart spending. They have a blank canvas to work with. We don’t have that luxury and because of it, they don’t have to rely on consolidating their debt by moving short-term problems for a long-term one under the guise that it is a hockey decision that improves our hockey club.

You’re getting older, Dion and I know that you want to play for a winner. Rather than lose an inexpensive and quality asset for nothing, we want you to be part of the solution and give us the flexibility to protect an asset that Las Vegas would consider taking. It will maintain our competitiveness and prevent us from having to enter the market and risk overpaying for an asset that may not be anywhere near as good or effective as the player we lost.

But hey, even in the unlikely event that Las Vegas does select you, at least you’re back out west and your wife will be closer to work in Los Angeles. Everyone wins!”

For all the parties involved, waiving the NMC makes sense.

Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but it can be mutually beneficial and I can’t think of any reason(s) as to why Phaneuf wouldn’t be amenable to the idea, unless waiving the NMC in this instance means that the Senators will no longer be bound by it moving forward. In other words, if Phaneuf waives his NMC, could the Senators trade him at a later date because he waived his NMC for the purpose of the expansion draft?

Maybe it doesn’t even matter. The the likelihood of a team wanting to absorb the remaining four seasons and $25.5-million in real dollars (carrying a $7.0-million cap hit) on Phaneuf’s contract is small.