The Ottawa Senators Need to Blow It Up & Rebuild for 2014/15 by Jamie Gilcig

jg2CFN – Is it time to blow up the Ottawa Senators and do a rebuild or will a refit suffice?   Frankly cap limited teams in the NHL have very little hope of winning Lord Stanley’s Cup.

The last team that wasn’t a big budget squad to win was the pre-cap 2006 Carolina Hurricanes.  It’s not a high percentage play.

Looking at teams that have won the cup in the Cap Age you can see a trend that includes a strong top six and team core.

Ottawa just lost its core in the last two seasons.   It’s not the worst of teams, but not the best.   However it’s best forward is a year away from free agency and coming off surgery, and its best d man is a year from a major injury.

What also is key to winning a Stanley Cup is being strong up the middle.  The Kings and Black Hawks have each won 2 cups since 06.  Boston, Detroit, Anaheim, and Pittsburgh also picked up a cup.

Ottawa has no proven #1 Centre.   The Turris, Legwand, Zibenejad, and Zack Smith unit again isn’t the worst in the NHL, but it certainly doesn’t set up high hopes of a cup.

The Sens do have a lot of bright spots thanks to GM Bryan Murray and his staff.   Turris is signed to a cap friendly deal until 2018; Smith until 17, Karlsson until 2019, but after that there are a lot of question marks.

The veteran core are mostly up for contract after this season or signed short term like Milan Michalek.   Many will be attractive trade targets for teams making a run.

The biggest question surrounds Bobby Ryan as he’s UFA after this season.    If the team can’t sign him up soon they really have no other choice than try and maximize the return on an assent they paid heavily for.

Were Jakob Silfverberg(2nd RP) , Stefan Noesen(1 RP) and the 2014 1st Round Pick (10th overall Nick Ritchie) worth it for Ryan, especially with the team missing the play offs and now facing the departure of Ryan?

Most likely not; but it was an interesting big league gamble that could have paid off; but sadly didn’t.

Silfverberg improved his numbers for Anaheim in a role that was less than it would have been in Ottawa.  Noesen tore his ACL and MCL which you can never predict, and Ritchie is a big bruising banger who scored over 30 goals.

Of course it’s easy to predict backwards, and the results aren’t in until either Ottawa resigns Ryan or we see what they get in trade.

Most likely the Sens start off the season and see what happens; but if by the mid way mark or earlier they aren’t play off bound then the dealing most likely will start.

Looking at what Buffalo has done in their rebuild isn’t really in the charts for Ottawa as they don’t have enough valuable assets to move.

The problem for Ottawa is that most of their trade able contracts are for players that they would need or have to replace.   There’s not much sizzle or disposability.    Trading away David Legwand’s $3M would only make sense if you had a replacement and the Sens at this point do not unless they’re tanking.

Marc Methot or Jared Cowen?  Well at $3M both are serviceable with their own strengths or weaknesses.  Both could be traded, but then who replaces them, Eric Gryba?

Even in goal, if you don’t develop Robin Lehner can you trade Craig Anderson?

The pesky Sens of two years ago are no more.   Now they have to ask what kind of team are they?  If they are going to be a low budget team they have to ride the young uns and that means acquiring them rather than pricey veterans and riding their non-UFA years.

Looking at this cup, while it may be half full, it’s time to chuck the water and refill.   In this cap age that isn’t as easy as it looks.

What do you think Sens fans?  You can post your comments below.

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1 Comment

  1. No need to blow up the team. They just have to start playing as a team and not individuals.

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