Alright, So I won't talk about what the sens should do or who they should sign in the off season, but rather what they should do to finalise they're team and roster spots before they even get there, before they can worry about anything else.
The sens had alot of problems this year, it's dealt with, it's done, let's forget and learn about it, they have to address their current needs so that they dont get more problems...
Heatley - Spezza - Alfredsson
Foligno - Fisher - Shannon
Ruutu - Kelly - ???
Donovan - Winchester - ???
For now, both ??? spots are taken by Comrie and Neil.
Murray already made a good move by signing Shannon to that one year - one way deal. He gets a chance to prove himself and we get to see what he can do in a full season with no penalty.
We're left with Pending UFA's Chris neil and Mike Comrie. My person opinion would be to re-sign both UNDER 2 Mil each. Either way, I think the organisation could work without them. Why? Despite playing injured, Comrie put up as many points this year as one of our rookies down on the farm could. Peter Regin, Ilya Zubov or Greg Mauldin could easily take his spot for alot less on the cap and for the oppertunity. I still think he could be a force in Ottawa and I find for the right price he'd be worth taking the risk. Same goes for Neil, personally I think he IS worth 2 mil, I love the guy and what he brings, but when you have a young guy like Bass in the system who can pretty much do the same, you have to ask questions.. Let's not forget thought, Neil did score 15 goals and added 17 assists a few years back, his best of his carreer, all while giving us 100% every game. He's a great team player, Would be ok if he left but would rather see him not.
Bottom line, If the price is right, keep em on. If not, open up a spot for a new guy. This team has a good core and incredible depth. So before signing anyone new, it's important they know who to keep and who they wanna bring up. Maybe a few trades can open some spots up but other than that this is what they have now.
Phillips - Volchenkov
Kuba - Campoli
??? - Smith
??? spot taken by either Schubert, Bell, Lee or Picard
Wait What!! 3-4 extra D-men!! Here's where something needs to be done. Bell's a RFA, and whether Murray chooses to keep him or not I believe he deserves a roster spot somewhere in the League. He played great this year even under all the pressure. He's inconsistent though, but then again so are all other 3 extra D-men on the group. So who do we keep, who goes down and who stays as 7th??...
I'm personally not sold on any of them, but I do believe Bell and Schubert should stay. Bell deserves it most, and Schubert, well, he has a cannon of a shot. We barely used him this year, and if he keeps whining to stay on defence then fine, put em there, see what he can do, and if he's still doesn't improve then trade do something else with him. He's been with us for 4 or 5 years now.
There's also rumours Erik Karlsson might come over next year. Now, I don't think fans should depend on it, but it's still fun to talk about. Let's not forget there's the other Karlsson down in Binghamton who played amazing this year, and maybe Matt Carkner deserves a look.
IMO, 6th and 7th spot are up for grabs, maybe trade a few guys too and see what kind of return we can get, maybe opening up a spot for someone new at the same time??
Right now, I don't even wanna touch this with a 30 foot pole. It's anybody's guess what happens. For sure Pascal Leclair stays, but who gets starter or backup? Right now 3 guys think they can be number 1. Can't wait to see what happens.
Prospects from Binghamton
Here I put a list of players I think are interesting to look at, the ones on the list are only some I think could make the cut next year, I've included Erik Karlsson:
- Peter Regin (C)
- Zack Smith (C)
- Ilja Zubov (C)
- Cody Bass (C)
- Jim O'Brien (LW)
- Denis Hamel (LW) (Maybe one day...)
- Greg Mauldin (LW)
- Erik Karlsson (D) (Sweden)
- Mattias Karlsson (D)
- Matt Carkner (D)
Marc Cavosie (F), Joshua Hennesey (F), Neil Petruic (D), Danny Bois (F), Derek Smith (D), Jeff Glass (G) and Tomas Kudelka (D) are also interesting to look at but they might not be ready for a few more years or for some may look like they wont get called up.
So I've given my opinion on most of these but also gave out the situation at hand. You may agree or disagree with my opinions, but hey, that's what I wanna hear! That's it for my little rant :p Thought I'd share my thoughts.. Hope to hear yours.
P.s; If I had shake something up, I'd package Picard and Henessey off somewhere for a maybe a good prospect or veteran. Henessey doesn't look like he'll be part of the sens plans much longer, and I just find Picard to be the odd man out from the defence corp. I really like Park from NY, he kinda fits both haha.. maybe not for those two thought..
Picard looks like a pretty passable number 5-6 guy with some very good puckmoving and skating abilities... for a team with relatively immobile defensemen (Kuba, Phillips, Smith) a smooth skating, puckmover seems like an asset... more so than Brendan Bell anyways...
I'd like to see smith go the most, but that seems unlikely. I think Bell walks (unfortunatly) and Picard or lee get traded, either for a pick or to help get a top six winger.