Cornwall Ontario – I’m a secret Ottawa Sens fan. Of the team, not so much ownership. I think Ottawa has amazing hockey fans. Good fans though can get frustrated. High prices, having to travel to their rink in the boondocks rather than having a downtown rink. A penny pinching owner.
In a cap age teams generally don’t fare well with budget rate teams, but Bryan Murray and Pierre Doiron did a terrific job building this team and Guy Boucher is a great coach that really fits the roster well.
The team is just off a great postseason run supported by the players they actually play to be there when the bell rings. Bobby Ryan had a dismal regular season but showed up for the playoffs. Some fans might complain about the salaries of Ryan and D man Dion Phaneuf, but the team had needs and management filled them compared to say Marc Bergevin who keeps picking up wingers who might make it as centers, or end up concussed.
While the team saw the passing of Murray in the off season, Dorion has improved the team. Fan fave Chris Neil is not returning, and Marc Methot is gone, but the team addressed many of its needs without having to Sergachev themselves.
Their prospects are all geared to move up a level, and the team should be able to afford to even let Thomas Chabot and Colin White to mature for a season in the AHL. Big Centres Shane Bowers and Logan Brown offer some major potential down the middle in the future.
The team is in great cap position too. They’re missing a 2nd round pick, but Mark Stone and Codi Ceci (love this kid!) as RFA’s coming up at the end of the season and Centre Kyle Turris who will be UFA to deal with.
The biggest question is who will play with Erik Karlsson when he returns from his foot injury and whether Derek Brassard’s labrum surgery will have a long term impact on his offensive ability?
In net Mike Condon was resigned for three years and clearly has an opportunity to shine as Craig Anderson is 36 and not expected to be a 60 game goalie. Last season saw both goalies play 40 games with both notching an impressing 5 shut outs each.
The question is how to fill those seats, because even chopping 1500 will still leave a lot of empties.
And that’s where marketing and working better with media outlets like this one come into play.
Will the team improve and hopefully earn enough extra cash to make Pierre Dorion’s job easier?
The team currently has nearly $5M in cap space available which would be nice to use.
Looking forward at this roster there’s a huge bright spot in that many of their best players are due to have bounce back seasons or play more games this year. The young players are maturing. The team is frankly one of the better run rosters in the NHL.
What do you think dear CFN viewers and Sens fans? Can the team improve this season? You can post your comments below.