To some fans and players, pre-season games are a bit of a nuisance. They’re gold, mind you, for prospects and fringe players trying to make an impression. That’s why you see guys beating the crap out of each other in meaningless games (another good reason why vets like to avoid these games!).
Now that the Senators have become a stable franchise, with a deep-pocketed owner, it’s easy to forget there was a time when Ottawa traded a GM for exhibition games.
Well, partly, anyway. In 1999, when Rick Dudley left the Senators to become general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, then-Sens prez Roy Mlakar demanded and received forward Rob Zamuner, plus $1 million in cash, a 2002 second-round pick (later traded to Dallas — Tobias Stephan — and THE RECEIPTS FROM THREE EXHIBITION GAMES.
Tampa also received forward Andreas Johansson. If it sounds like the kind of deal Mlakar might have concocted in the bush leagues of his youth, it probably was. But it showed how cash-strapped the Senators were in the late 1990s, burdened as they were with arena debt. Pretty creative trade, and the Sens were determined to get something for letting a GM walk, because Pierre Gauthier walked the year before and the Sens got nothing for him.
Zamuner played two seasons in an Ottawa uniform and produced 58 points.