If Bryan Murray has made two things clear in his press conference following Ottawa’s second round playoff exit they were that 1. He’s a Stetson man and 2. He is looking to add quality scoring support at forward for this upcoming season.
Wanting stuff is awesome (oops actually it’s the worst according to the Noble Truths of the Buddha) but getting it takes a little bit of sacrifice. Money or quality players. When it comes to adding a new player to what is frankly a line up that is already getting results is a little risky. That said, sex dream goaltending really bailed out a pretty tepid offense most nights last season but THAT SAID the team was missing its best forward, leading goal scorer and best offenseman the majority of the season and iced several rookies as regulars so there’s a bit of a question mark as to the need there. We didn’t really see the Ottawa Senators proper in the last campaign.
Murray’s decision to not re-sign Guillaume Latendresse and the possibility of the retirement of Daniel Day Alfredsson does present some holes to the top six going forward.
Michalek – Spezza – Silfverberg
<Frozen Dinner> – Turris – <Alfredsson?>
Greening / Conacher – Smith – Zibanejad
Condra – Pageau – Neil
Whack Aces: O’Brien, Kassian (potentially: Conacher)
Sis/Bro: Don’t hold me over the coles for these lines here…I’m just putting names up to look at as we unravel this here caper while we share the laughter and love, okay? Sha-na-nuh-na.
You can see if Alfredsson indeed returns there’s really only Latendresse’s spot vacant and that’s assuming that one of those forwards (I chose to pick on Conacher for some reason) sees press box time. Does this mean a trade is potentially coming?
I for one hope not. First off, Michalek’s trade value is way lower than what it should be because of his knee injuries and price tag. Not the worst thing in the world to hang onto a guy that can score 35 goals AND play on the penalty kill.
Turris I think is going to have a great season if Spezza can stay in the lineup. Though Turris did an admirable job filling in on the first line you can see as soon as he’s bumped down to the second his ability to produce instantly goes up. Kyle’s 9 points in 10 playoff games has me licking my chops (sorry, kind of weird).
Zibanejad and Silfverberg I’ll lump together here. I don’t think you want to get rid of a rookie that was 4th in team scoring nor one who played his first year on the first line and did not look overwhelmed. That’s some good pedigree right there.
I’m calling it now that Pageau makes the team. Before anyone cries Peter Regin here, I think we have a different case on our sexy hands. Since JGP is a centre he will not be expected to play in the top six helping him ease into the league full time. With Jim O’Brien’s move to Scotiabank Place Food and Beverage Coordinator I think it’s Pageau’s job for 2013-2014. If he continues to play like he did in his audition it might actually be hard to justify keeping him down there.
Anyway, I can’t picture the Sens parting ways with Smith, Neil or Condra. Greening I will admit is a bit of an enigma YES I SAID THAT ABOUT A CANADIAN HOCKEY PLAYER but the idea of getting rid of him seems a bit of a stretch. Especially after his performance against Pittsburgh. Conacher they just got. Am I too attached to everyone here? Playoffs two years in a row, one year with a serious chunk of the offensive core missing, makes me wonder if it’s wise to stand pat and see what the current full line up, or close to it, can do.
Regardless, it’s the offseason (hence why you’ve sat through a 600 word intro to this article) lets take a look at some potential options on the FA market that have been talked about.
Ugh this is just weird. No question Pascal Dupuis is playing some of the best hockey of his career right now putting up the same amount of points in a shortened season as it would typically take him in 82 games. At 34 years old looking for a new contract one must wonder how he would fit into Ottawa’s long term plans. One must also wonder if Dupuis is on his Rob Brown grind as a pretty good player made to look mighty surrounded by generational talents. I don’t know. I think you have a solid player but the age thing really doesn’t jive well with a rebuilding club. Also, I don’t think I’m through hating this dude yet. Warming up to Gonchar after years of hating him when he came here was hard enough.
Briere would certainly bring an old school mentality to the locker room as far as hairstyles are concerned. 1997 is the new 2007. Fun facts in researching Danny B: 1. He got 95 points one year. 2. He made $10,000,000 the next year. Excusez-moi, Alexandre L’Ovechkin! In true giant contract fashion he’s never even come close to that total again. He still makes pretty big money with a cap hit of $6.5 milly over the next two years. Still any Ottawa fan knows this guy has been a consistent pain in the ass to play against for a decade plus and if Murray wants scoring support he’d get it in Briere. Plus the two years on his deal (if he’s not bought out) works as a stop gap solution while prospects develop. He has the requisite “from the Ottawa area” credentials for a Murray acquisistion but he is apparently very concerned about protecting his children from the slings and arrows of dickish classmates that would definitely be found in a Canadian Market. Example: “My weird step-uncle says your daddy has 1997 hair!” I could see a city made up of not just Sens fans but the fans of two rival teams (I forget their stupid names) causing him to steer clear of Ottawa.
Perchance if PMac has any say in what player Murray targets pending UFA Valteri Filppula could be in the mix. Though not a world beater in the points department I don’t think anyone would doubt you’d be getting a quality player here given that he’s been in the Detroit system his whole career. At 29 years old he’s probably looking for a good amount of commitment from a suitor. Also Detroit will probably re-sign him with their cap space. As a left winger who can play centre Filpulla would come in handy when Kyle Turris gets kicked out of every faceoff. A Finnish national, he would be able to provide the team with a different perspective during discussions over the merits of the Swedish-Novgorodian wars on long plane rides. I’m also just going to assume he’s good at shootouts. Acquiring Filppula would be worth it for the amount of times we’d get to hear Pierre McGuire pronounce “ValtEEEEri FilppUUUUla” every weekday morning on his T.G.O.R. segment.
Of all the UFA’s going onto the market this guy seems the most up Bryan Murray’s alley. Well, Dustin Penner is a UFA too but with 2 lousy goals on the season we’re not even going to talk about that guy. I’ll seriously smash stuff if he keeps going after that dude. Back to Horton: Big, strong and physical with scoring touch and the face of a junior high school bully. The fact that he plays right wing is a little awkward if Alfredsson comes back. The other thing here is that he’s currently making $5.5MM with a cap hit of 4MM. Though not crazy when you think about how we just paid a 39 year old that much, should Boston win the Cup this year Nathan will expect a pay raise. Considering what a playoff beast he is (over a point a game this post-season!) it could be well worth it. Also, if Boston wins it all they might want to hang onto him. Boston has just under $6MM of room under the cap so they are going to have to make some decisions about the next couple of years. Horton is likely part of those plans but Ttuukkaa Rraasskk’s next contract might take up that intire 5.8 million dollars in space alone. Would love to see Murray get this guy.
*Puts on novelty foam hand does hand wanking motion*
Not even a free agent but often talked about on message boards and in the hockey media. It would be awesome but I just don’t see this happening. Do you?