The Ottawa Senators were a complete disaster defensively and in net in the 2022-23 season, and after moving for Jakob Chychrun, Carter Hart could be the next piece to their puzzle.
The Sens had three goaltenders start 17 or more times in 2022-23, and started seven different goaltenders in total. Cam Talbot (age 35), Anton Forsberg (age 30), and Mads Sogaard (age 22) got the bulk of the workload, and only Forsberg posted a save percentage higher than 0.900. Talbot, who is a pending UFA, seems to be out of gas at this stage of his career, and Sogaard just isn’t ready for NHL competition yet.
The New Jersey Devils started seven different goaltenders in 2021-22, and after adding Vitek Vanecek, the team went from zero to hero, making it to the second round of the 2023 NHL Playoffs. While Carter Hart is certainly better than Vanecek, the Senators would be wise to draw inspiration from the Devils. Former Philadelphia Flyers superstar Claude Giroux is closer to the end of his career than the beginning, and the Senators are reportedly already seeking to cut ties with Alex DeBrincat after a disappointing season. While their window is open, the Sens should have a no-nonsense policy about securing reliable goaltending.
The Senators don’t have picks in the first three rounds of this year’s draft, but they do have several expendable prospects to make Daniel Briere and the Flyers consider an offer. Defenseman Tyler Kleven is stuck behind Thomas Chabot, Chychrun, and 2020 fifth-overall pick Jake Sanderson on the left side of the defense. The same can be said for Erik Brannstrom, while Jacob Bernard-Docker hasn’t been able to crack the Sens lineup on the right side of the defense either. Perhaps Briere considers his former teammate Brian Boucher’s son, Tyler, who was the 10th pick in the 2021 draft. Despite the lack of draft picks, the Senators are still more than capable of producing a sweet offer for Carter Hart.