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Namestnikov's agent shares his client's thoughts on trade to Ottawa

october 8, 2019
Being traded to the Ottawa Senators while the team rebuilds likely isn't on the list of wishes for a lot of NHL players right now, but that doesn't seem to be the case for Vladislav Namestnikov. The forward was traded from the New York Rangers to the Ottawa Senators Monday night, and his agent says he's quite pleased.

Vince Mercogliano, who covers the Rangers for USA Today, says he spoke with Namestnikov's agent via text following the trade and was told "Vlad is extremely happy." His agent also told Mercogliano that the trade was not surprising in any way and they've known this was a possibility for a while. Namestnikov had played two games with the Rangers this season and had seen his ice-time reduced from the previous year. In Ottawa, he'll likely get a more prominent role.

While the Rangers will be retaining 18.75 percent of Namestnikov's cap hit this season, $750,000 of the $4 million he'll make, the move is essentially a salary dump. With Chris Kreider set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, some believe the Rangers are setting up to potentially extend the forward before the seasons ends. The trade also opens up a roster spot for the further development of a young prospect such as Filip Chytil or Vitali Kravtsov.

Ottawa gave up defenceman Nick Ebert and a fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL draft to acquire Namestnikov. It is a bit odd that a team in the midst of a rebuild would take on a player set to become a UFA at the end of the season, but the price to acquire Namestnikov was relatively minor. Ebert, 25, has appeared in one game with Belleville of the AHL this season, after totaling 11 goals and 22 assists in 49 games with Orebro of the Swedish Hockey League last season. Namestnikov has 66 goals and 158 points over 362 NHL games.

It's worth mentioning that Namestnikov's agent also represents Nikita Zaitsev, who waived his no trade clause to accept a move to Ottawa from Toronto over the summer.

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