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yave1964

Ottawa Senators offseason primer

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Team two also from the great white north.... 

 

2017-18 FINAL RECORD 28-43-11 67 points 30 points out of a playoff spot.

 

The Senators had rallied around Craig Anderson and his wife to make a totally unexpected run the year before, pushing eventual champ Pittsburgh to overtime in game 7 of the conference finals before bowing out. Expectations were high for 2017-18. 

  Nothing went right. Anderson was off 2 games in 3, Condon who was such a capable backup the year before was unable to pick him up. Karlsson was never himself, a big trade for Duchene did nothing to lift the team, Phaneuf was donated to the Kings, Brassard parted out to the Penguins and by February the Senators players were mentally on the golf course scheduling tee times.

 

FREE AGENTS None to speak of. Chris Wideman who at one time was supposed to be a bit of a prospect but really isn't is the only player who appeared in any games this past year is the only player who will be lost and he will not be missed.

 

TOP PROSPECTS: They do have three players who will likely step into regular duty this year, defenseman Filip Chlapik looks like a top four especially on this team that needs help back there right away. Colin White and Logan Brown have been slowly moved through the system and neither has impressed but with first round pedigree and a team short on forwards they will certainly be given every shot to earn middle six forward slots this year. Thomas Chabot has established himself on the back end after the Phaneuf trade and looks to be a fixture for years or at least until he starts asking for real money.

 

CAP SITUATION: The Senators have plenty of cap space as usual but as usual plan on building from within on the cheap. It usually doesn't work and likely will not for them either.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTIONS:

First and foremost: WHAT TO DO WITH kARLSSON??? He was made available at the deadline last year if a team was willing to pay through the nose. None bit, rumors are starting already that Karlsson is gone before the draft this year. He has one year left on his deal and the team must decide if there is a deal out there that makes sense or if they should find a way to keep him. I would guess there is a 60 percentor higher chance he is dealt in June.

 

CAN THEY FINDA TAKER FOR bOBBY RYAN? Unlikely, Ryan has a 7.25 million cap hit for 4 more years and his skil level has fallen drastically. The big rumor is that Mark Stone who is a very solid scoring winger and a RFA will be dealt if he will not give the club a hometown discount. This would be a huge mistake as Stone plays the game the right way and is entering his prime. As for Ryan, the supposed holdup with dealing Karlsson at the deadline is the Sens wanted whoever got Karlsson to take Ryan off their hands. This may be revisited this offseason.

 

 CAN ANDERSON AND CONDON REBOUND? Well they cannot be worse but I doubt they will be good enough to turn the team around.

 

IS GUY BOUCHER THE ANSWER AS COACH?  As maligned as Zorro is, Boucher took a ragtag team to the ECF game 7 just two years ago and had a modicum of success with Tampa previously. His system is weird but he has a history of winning, I wouldn't want him coaching my team but he is capable. 

 

DUCHENE. WHAT NOW?  They spent a ransom to bring him in, he has only one year remaining before he like Karlsson can walk. He was positively awful when he first came over before finding his stride, there is the very real possibility that he will be moved out.

 

OFFSEASON OUTLOOK: This is a team to watch in June and July, Karlsson, Stone, Duchene, Hoffman may all be moved out and they may blow it up and start over or they may stand pat and see how the season starts and assess at some point early in the year. Karlsson along with Tavares from the Islanders will be the biggest name tossed around all summer. Situation probably bleak and a very real chance this is the worst team in Hockey next year.

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