I can agree to this and argued with Sens fans over and over that they werent getting Puljujarvi and a pick. It also wasnt the TDL whereas teams had cap certainty. Made no sense how Sens fans thought they were getting a lehkonen return. They had no leverage.
The cap is incredibly restrictive right now.
I don't know how on the same day that Max Pacioretty was traded for future considerations, someone can argue that Dorion did poorly by getting a 2nd round pick for a matchup forward who was on pace for 12 goals over 82 games. He did it while dumping 3.6M in cap (4M in real money) and taking nothing back.
Although Pacioretty has a 7M cap hit, he also is a first line power forward who was on pace for 39 goals. Additionally, he only makes 1.25M more than Brown in real money. He has a no trade clause, but it was only a 10 team clause.
The point I am illustrating is that it is very hard to dump players right now without taking back cap. Teams value cap, and there isn't enough cap to go around. Most teams that do have cap do not have the revenue to back it up with real dollars, so they cannot use most of that cap unless it is for superficial cap hits that won't cost them much in real money.
It wouldn't surprise me if Edmonton offered Puljujarvi and a pick, because they needed to move out Puljujarvi's expected 3-4 million dollar cap hit to get Brown, but the Senators couldn't take back the cash. The entire point for the Senators to move Brown, is to get 4M off the books to fund their acquisitions and internal raises. Acquiring Puljujarvi defeats the purpose of trading Brown.
If someone wants to make the argument that the Senators should not have acquired Talbot, or Giroux, or Debrincat, because Brown is a franchise player, they would be crazy but at least they would not be completely misunderstanding the current cap and salary situation that teams are operating under, while posting on a web forum that is hosted by a website named after said cap.
Should Dorion have dealt Brown last year? At the deadline? Maybe. But for right now, he did very well to even get a 2nd.