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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by Guest on Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:31 am

    504Heater wrote:
    Your list is a good one. If Gerber plays lights out, I would expect him to be moved ASAP to get a return. It's just one of those unfortunate catch-22s. If he's awesome and we can get some value for him, then that's good for us. I personally wouldn't trade Schubert unless it was part of a huge package. I love that guy, he's a good D-man, a good forward and he delivers big, big hits. McAmmond, I'd be willing to see how is first before gassing him, he looked okay at some points last year. With Donovan and Kelly I think, which is where he'll probably end up.
    I agree about Gerber, but I really think he can be the goalie who takes us all the way - He has made some miraculous saves, in his time with the team, and he would be great if he could control rebounds and keep his head straight.
    Schubert's contract is TOO sweet - for what he provides - to move him anytime this year; maybe at the 2010 trade deadline, but I would really like to see him given an extension (unfortunately, his contract year is the same as Lee and Volchenkov, and there just might not be enough money for him...I hope thats not the case, though)
    It was the the Schubert - McAmmond - Donovan line which was so great for us, last year. It was easily our best line in early March and pretty much won us a few games (which is a huge deal for a 4th line) I was irate when Murray split them and kept them split up at the end of the season. As great a GM as Murray is, he isn't a really great coach. imo...

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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by PTFlea on Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:37 am

    cash wrote:
    I agree about Gerber, but I really think he can be the goalie who takes us all the way - He has made some miraculous saves, in his time with the team, and he would be great if he could control rebounds and keep his head straight.
    Schubert's contract is TOO sweet - for what he provides - to move him anytime this year; maybe at the 2010 trade deadline, but I would really like to see him given an extension (unfortunately, his contract year is the same as Lee and Volchenkov, and there just might not be enough money for him...I hope thats not the case, though)
    It was the the Schubert - McAmmond - Donovan line which was so great for us, last year. It was easily our best line in early March and pretty much won us a few games (which is a huge deal for a 4th line) I was irate when Murray split them and kept them split up at the end of the season. As great a GM as Murray is, he isn't a really great coach. imo...

    Was that the line? Huh, I wouldn't be upset to see that line put together again.

    That 5 on 3 against the Rangers where he made like 10 amazing saves and then threw the puck out of our zone was one of the coolest things I saw last year for the Sens.

    He has ability, I hope he can put it all together. It would be a welcome relief/surprise.

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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by rooneypoo on Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:07 am

    504Heater wrote:

    We have a lot of assets to move if the move is there to strengthen the team this year and beyond, but I think the only guy I'd do that for right now would be Bouwmeester.

    Your list is a good one. If Gerber plays lights out, I would expect him to be moved ASAP to get a return. It's just one of those unfortunate catch-22s. If he's awesome and we can get some value for him, then that's good for us. I personally wouldn't trade Schubert unless it was part of a huge package. I love that guy, he's a good D-man, a good forward and he delivers big, big hits. McAmmond, I'd be willing to see how is first before gassing him, he looked okay at some points last year. With Donovan and Kelly I think, which is where he'll probably end up.

    Maybe I'm too pesimistic. cash caught me being nervous and thinking a Murray or Parish signing would be good, but that's not what's missing. I hope if we make another trade, we trade for a guy who has the potential to be a long term impact player here.

    I'm guilty of looking at Rooney's avatar and wondering how much fun it would be to grab Schneider and Parros (and shipping Neil out) though.

    Parros's pornstache would put us over the top, totally. Razz

    Honestly, looking at the way things are shaping up, I'd say Murray is definitely creating the space to make a move for an impact player, preferably on D or in net, either in February or July. Right now, we've got our core locked up for at least the next 2 years, and Gerber, Kuba, Neil, and McAmmond are all FA at the end of the year. That's almost $9 mil in cap space. Tack on a modest 5-7% increase in the cap this year, and all of a sudden the Sens have all kinds of cash to got after a goalie and a defenceman -- AND we open up a roster spot or two for Zubov, Nikulin, etc. We should be in a very good position come July 2009 to seriously improve this team without losing any significant pieces.
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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by Phoenix30 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:56 am

    504Heater wrote:
    Phoenix30 wrote:Heater,

    Love the feedback.

    I suspect that the most likely players to be moved at some point this season would be Neil, Gerber, McAmmond as their all UFA's after this season.

    Neil - I really do like Neil, Bass, Ruuto line but with Neil at 1.1/yr and a UFA. I suspect that if Winchester does well in camp and/or throughout the season in AHL, Neil becomes expendable. A void would be created from a scrapper side but Murray could always call up Carkner or someone else from the minor when needed. As well I suspect with a new coach, players, and system in place I think the team will respond and stand up for each other when there is no scrapper in the line up.

    Gerber - it will really depend on how his season is going and how well the team is doing. I would hate to see him go personally but if he has a good season Murray might be inclined to move him to get a return. Especially if he is not part of the long term plans and the team is out of a playoff spot. Here is hoping that Murray has a back up plan for goaltending or Elliott really comes up big and knocks off our socks.

    McAmmond - again I would had to see him go but as Heater mentions he is a good utility person. That being said I think that if Murray was to get another sniper then Folingo could fill in here regularly until he gains more experience. I suspect that McAmmond maybe moved prior to the deadline to a young team that is on the playoff bubble that is looking for leadership and experience. He maybe a good fit on Columbus, Nashville, Florida, and Chicago.

    Kuba - I know we just acquired him and personally I would like Murray to keep him beyond this season for an extra year however if the team isnt doing well and not in a position to make the playoffs. I am certain that a playoff team would be willing to part with a prospect for what he could bring to the table.

    Schubert - is another player I can see going depending on how the prospects do. He would be caught up in a numbers game and could fetch a decent return.

    Now that all being said if Murray wants to get a quality sniper for the 2nd line early in the season I suspect that Schubert, Nikulin, McAmmond, and Neil could be used as trade bait. As it stands though I feel comfortable with the present team if no further moves are made at the moment but the future does look bright with our prospects. If trades occur with our UFA's for picks, prospects or a quality young player to fill out the team then the future is going to continue to look bright on the farm.

    We have a lot of assets to move if the move is there to strengthen the team this year and beyond, but I think the only guy I'd do that for right now would be Bouwmeester.

    Your list is a good one. If Gerber plays lights out, I would expect him to be moved ASAP to get a return. It's just one of those unfortunate catch-22s. If he's awesome and we can get some value for him, then that's good for us. I personally wouldn't trade Schubert unless it was part of a huge package. I love that guy, he's a good D-man, a good forward and he delivers big, big hits. McAmmond, I'd be willing to see how is first before gassing him, he looked okay at some points last year. With Donovan and Kelly I think, which is where he'll probably end up.

    Maybe I'm too pesimistic. cash caught me being nervous and thinking a Murray or Parish signing would be good, but that's not what's missing. I hope if we make another trade, we trade for a guy who has the potential to be a long term impact player here.

    I'm guilty of looking at Rooney's avatar and wondering how much fun it would be to grab Schneider and Parros (and shipping Neil out) though.

    I haven't been a fan of rental players. I think Murray has done a good job on bring in leadership and experience in the off season so I am hoping that this season he brings in players who will be here beyond this season or picks that will build the future.

    Some of the players that Murray may look to this season are Cheechoo and Bouwmeester.

    Why SJ and Cheechoo? I think its a good fit as we have some prospects that they could use since they have given away their 1st for the past couple of years. Cheechoo would be a good fit on the 1st line with Spezza and Heater.

    Why Bouwmeester??? Why not. However this may come at a cost. My guess would be to hope he goes UFA and wants to come to Ottawa.

    Murray may also look at prospects like Schremp in Edmonton and Mason in Columbus. Now of course this will depend on how well those teams are doing.

    Chicago and Phoenix could be possibles to get some pick from as they may want the leadership and experience that McAmmond could offer and I do believe these teams are on the verge of making the playoffs. Sorry I am not big on the Bulin wall.

    O'Sullivan would be a nice addition if LA cant get him signed. I suspect this could be a little pricey. Maybe Schubert might bet him here.
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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by rooneypoo on Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:12 am

    cash wrote:
    Look at all those things and consider the fact that he is defensively responsible, doesn't shy away from contact, and wants nothing more than to be a D-man, and then tell me again that you don't think he's a lock.
    I've never been more certain of the names of our top-6.

    Well, two responses to that come to mind right away:

    1) We've had him, with all the same ability, toiling on our 4th line for 2 years now instead of playing D, and behind guys like Luke Richardson, no less. I find it hard to think that he immediately gets promoted from 'not a sniff' to a 'instant lock.' I'm also curious as to why we've been hesitant to give him a shot at D for long now.

    2) We may need someone in that 6th spot who is a little more skilled with the puck than Schubert, like Nycholat or Picard, not because they are better defencemen but because our D is going to need all the puck mobility it can get to help out our transition game.

    To be clear, Schubert is, in my mind, the most likely guy to get that 6th D spot, and I'm hoping that he does. I just don't think it's a 'for sure' at the moment -- more like a 'highly likely.'
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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by beerandsens on Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:47 am

    rooneypoo wrote:
    Parros's pornstache would put us over the top, totally. Razz

    Honestly, looking at the way things are shaping up, I'd say Murray is definitely creating the space to make a move for an impact player, preferably on D or in net, either in February or July. Right now, we've got our core locked up for at least the next 2 years, and Gerber, Kuba, Neil, and McAmmond are all FA at the end of the year. That's almost $9 mil in cap space. Tack on a modest 5-7% increase in the cap this year, and all of a sudden the Sens have all kinds of cash to got after a goalie and a defenceman -- AND we open up a roster spot or two for Zubov, Nikulin, etc. We should be in a very good position come July 2009 to seriously improve this team without losing any significant pieces.

    Agreed. At the beginning of the summer/free agency period I had high hopes for Murray making the moves necessary to turn this team around. It took a little time, but what a difference he's made in the few moves he's executed.

    I'll say it again and again, he's a hockey genius. Or at least, that's what it looks like now, we'll see what the on ice product looks like this fall.

    I'd like to hear your thoughts... a short time ago a few people here were concerned that the Sens' window of opportunity was closing for at least a couple of years, has that outlook changed at all?
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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by rooneypoo on Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:37 pm

    beerandsens wrote:

    Agreed. At the beginning of the summer/free agency period I had high hopes for Murray making the moves necessary to turn this team around. It took a little time, but what a difference he's made in the few moves he's executed.

    I'll say it again and again, he's a hockey genius. Or at least, that's what it looks like now, we'll see what the on ice product looks like this fall.

    I'd like to hear your thoughts... a short time ago a few people here were concerned that the Sens' window of opportunity was closing for at least a couple of years, has that outlook changed at all?

    Well, looking at our projected roster, there's no denying that we're not the dominant team that we once were.

    Up front: after our amazing top line and Vermette and Fisher, our secondary scoring hopes lie primarily with Foligno, Winchester, Kelly, and Neil. I don't really buy into the myth that we have 'no' secondary scoring, but there's no denying that we're not an especially deep team in terms of scoring forwards, like Carolina usually is or Edmonton is starting to become. Still, I'm expecting big seasons again from our top 3, 50-60 point seasons from both Vermette and Fisher, and I'm hoping that Winchester and/or Foligno can make an impact with, say, something like 35-40 points. My hopes with Winchester, especially, lie in the fact that Murray has a knack for pulling good players out of college -- Penner, Perry, etc. -- and I'm hoping that something similar will happen with Winchester. Still, there's no denying that we're putting our hopes in 1 of our 2 rookies to step up and play in the top 6, and that doesn't exactly scream scoring depth. We do have lots of character and toughness in our bottom 6, tho', and I think we'll have a 4th line that we can trust with regular shifts and something like 8-10 minutes of ice time per game, which is something we haven't had for a while now.

    Backend: I'm starting to really like this D. With the addition of Kuba, we're going to be very big. Smith, Volchenkov, and Schubert (assuming he takes that last spot) will be punishing forwards with big hits all year long. The offence coming from the D is not going to be what we're used to: Kuba, I'm sure, while come close to or eclipse the 40 point mark, but after that we're putting our hopes in a rookie (Lee) and Schubert. If both of those guys can hit 30 points this season, we'll have nothing to complain about -- but that's a lot of production to expect from them given their history and experience. We've got capable first-passers in all our pairings, tho' -- Phillips, Lee, and Schubert -- so I'm hoping our transition game will still be decent, although there's no denying that we're going to miss the passing abilities of guys like Redden, Meszaros, and Corvo. This should be a hardworking, lunch-pail-and-hard-hat kind of D, and I'm expecting us to be much stronger defensively, but it's going to produce a lot less than we're used to.

    Goal: our weakest spot, I hope we can all agree, as it has always been. Gerber can be decent; if he can pull some consistency out of his @ss, we might be OK. Auld is capable; he especially impressed me during his time in Boston last year. Neither guy is an all-star, tho'. I think the best we can hope for is decent goaltending -- making the saves that should be made, but very few standing-on-your-head performances or stealing of games. At the same time, I don't think we need anything other than steady, middle-of-the-road goaltending with the D we have and the overall defensive system I expect Hartsburg to put into place. The big question is whether or not or goalies will be able to make the simple, expected saves that need to be made. If they can't, I expect team morale to plumment, and our play along with it.

    Overall, this is a team that will compete this year. Installing Hartsburg as our coach is a move that his been massively underrated, I think; if his time with the juniors in the last 3 years is any indication, he's a guy who can implement a strong defensive system and an aggressive forechecking structure. I think a 4-6th place finish likely. Anything lower than that would surprise me; anything higher would surprise me, too, tho', as I expect one of Montreal or Boston to take 1st in the east. I don't think our 'window' is gone, although -- to stick with the metaphor -- it is less wide open this year than it was 2-3 years ago. We've got most of our core locked up for years; we've left ourselves significant cap space to improve our D and/or our goaltending in the next year if that's what we want to do. I expect the 2009-10 Sens, in fact, will be much stronger than we've seen in a while, and that's because I expect us to address our woes in net and/or to acquire an offensive D sometime in the next 10 months.
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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by PKC on Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:49 pm

    Well said rooneypoo. Its looking more and more like Murray is setting this team up for years to come, starting with the seemingly massive amount of money available to spend next year. Even if only one of Foligno or Winchester step up this year and prove themselves capable of handling full-time top 6 duties, the amount of money we'd have to spend on goaltending and defensemen would be incredible. Jay Bouwmeester, anyone?

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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by Guest on Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:06 pm

    Jay Bouwmeester would handcuff this team in ways you can't even imagine. Terrible idea imo in this salary-capped world of ours.
    rooneypoo wrote:Well, looking at our projected roster, there's no denying that we're not the dominant team that we once were.
    This is the best team the Sens have ever had, other than the 2005-06 Sens. I really don't know why people don't see ALL that Murray has done here.
    We're built for the playoffs and being led by a trio of legitimate 90-100 point players. Our defence is huge and will sufficiently insulate our better-than-average goalie. And our forward ranks are FULL with defensively responsible, speedy, gritty, and hard-working players who seem to (in my eyes) fit incredibly well together.
    We have the scoring; we've got the defence, which will lead to the goaltending; we've got the grit; we've got the pests; we've got the leadership; we've got the penalty killing and powerplay, and, most importantly, we've got the drive and determination. If the coaching is what its being hyped to be, we are the team to beat.
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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by rooneypoo on Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:47 pm

    cash wrote:Jay Bouwmeester would handcuff this team in ways you can't even imagine. Terrible idea imo in this salary-capped world of ours.
    rooneypoo wrote:Well, looking at our projected roster, there's no denying that we're not the dominant team that we once were.
    This is the best team the Sens have ever had, other than the 2005-06 Sens. I really don't know why people don't see ALL that Murray has done here.
    We're built for the playoffs and being led by a trio of legitimate 90-100 point players. Our defence is huge and will sufficiently insulate our better-than-average goalie. And our forward ranks are FULL with defensively responsible, speedy, gritty, and hard-working players who seem to (in my eyes) fit incredibly well together.
    We have the scoring; we've got the defence, which will lead to the goaltending; we've got the grit; we've got the pests; we've got the leadership; we've got the penalty killing and powerplay, and, most importantly, we've got the drive and determination. If the coaching is what its being hyped to be, we are the team to beat.

    Wow, can't agree with that.

    Look, I like the way we're shaping up. I think we will be a tough, defensive team that can score, will finish reasonably high in the standings, and will be a competitive team in the playoffs. To say that this is the 'best team the Sens have ever had minus the 2005-06 season,' however, is pure hyperbole or misguided optimism. To say the least, on paper, the subtractions of Redden, Meszaros, Stillman, Commodore, and Emery, and the additions of Kuba, Smith, Ruutu, and Auld -- those being our only off-season moves of note, after all -- do not look like the boldest and strongest of moves, or at any rate the type of moves that put any team 'over the top'.

    I think we have a strong team, certainly stronger than most people are predicting. But let's call a spade a spade: we've gotten meaner this off-season, but we've lost a lot of talent in the process. We'll be good, but we're going to have to really come together as a team to become 'the team to beat' in the East.

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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by Guest on Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:15 pm

    rooneypoo wrote:
    cash wrote:Jay Bouwmeester would handcuff this team in ways you can't even imagine. Terrible idea imo in this salary-capped world of ours.
    rooneypoo wrote:Well, looking at our projected roster, there's no denying that we're not the dominant team that we once were.
    This is the best team the Sens have ever had, other than the 2005-06 Sens. I really don't know why people don't see ALL that Murray has done here.
    We're built for the playoffs and being led by a trio of legitimate 90-100 point players. Our defence is huge and will sufficiently insulate our better-than-average goalie. And our forward ranks are FULL with defensively responsible, speedy, gritty, and hard-working players who seem to (in my eyes) fit incredibly well together.
    We have the scoring; we've got the defence, which will lead to the goaltending; we've got the grit; we've got the pests; we've got the leadership; we've got the penalty killing and powerplay, and, most importantly, we've got the drive and determination. If the coaching is what its being hyped to be, we are the team to beat.

    Wow, can't agree with that.

    Look, I like the way we're shaping up. I think we will be a tough, defensive team that can score, will finish reasonably high in the standings, and will be a competitive team in the playoffs. To say that this is the 'best team the Sens have ever had minus the 2005-06 season,' however, is pure hyperbole or misguided optimism. To say the least, on paper, the subtractions of Redden, Meszaros, Stillman, Commodore, and Emery, and the additions of Kuba, Smith, Ruutu, and Auld -- those being our only off-season moves of note, after all -- do not look like the boldest and strongest of moves, or at any rate the type of moves that put any team 'over the top'.

    I think we have a strong team, certainly stronger than most people are predicting. But let's call a spade a spade: we've gotten meaner this off-season, but we've lost a lot of talent in the process. We'll be good, but we're going to have to really come together as a team to become 'the team to beat' in the East.
    We also removed Corvo, Eaves, Robitaille, Richardson, and Lapointe; all 10 subtractions are nothing more than addition by subtraction.
    Stillman, Commodore, Lapointe, and Eaves hardly had any impact on this team, so we'll assume they are irrelevant.
    Corvo and Richardson were really the only subtractions who had a positive influence on the team.
    All 4 of Robitaille, Meszaros, Redden, and Emery were underperformers and their presence will not be missed. During the Cup run, the latter three played well, but were still issues. For the most part, they were beneficiaries of playing for the same team as many of the players who remain today.
    Their skill, which went underused, can be - disgracefully - easily replaced.

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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by Guest on Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:18 pm

    cash wrote:This is the best team the Sens have ever had, other than the 2005-06 Sens.
    Maybe I should clarify: This is the most playoff-friendly team the Sens have ever had.
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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by rooneypoo on Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:25 pm

    cash wrote:
    We also removed Corvo, Eaves, Robitaille, Richardson, and Lapointe; all 10 subtractions are nothing more than addition by subtraction.
    Stillman, Commodore, Lapointe, and Eaves hardly had any impact on this team, so we'll assume they are irrelevant.
    Corvo and Richardson were really the only subtractions who had a positive influence on the team.
    All 4 of Robitaille, Meszaros, Redden, and Emery were underperformers and their presence will not be missed. During the Cup run, the latter three played well, but were still issues. For the most part, they were beneficiaries of playing for the same team as many of the players who remain today.
    Their skill, which went underused, can be - disgracefully - easily replaced.

    Granted all the above (although I do think you're underestimating what Redden and Meszaros brought to this team, even with the former's recent decline and the latter's accident-prone ways), I still don't see how the additions of Smith, Kuba, Ruutu, and Auld makes this "the best Sens team ever, minus the 2005-06 version" or "the team to beat in the East."

    Will we be better than the Sens of Jan. 2008-April. 2008? I very much expect so; a lot of that can be credited, too, to Murray's coaching hiring and his cleaning up of the locker room, but we also seemed to be caught in a 'perfect storm' scenario in the second half last year and I expected us to be better than that regardless of any off-season changes. Will we be better than the Sens of Jan. 2007-Nov. 2008? That is much less certain. Certainly we can't expect the same kind of offensive from our new back end, although what we lose in scoring I expect we'll gain in overall defence. I'm optimistic that we'll be tougher, meaner, and more defensively sound, but I'm concerned about our overall offence given what we've lost on the back end and, as always, our goaltending.
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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by beerandsens on Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:13 pm

    rooneypoo wrote:
    beerandsens wrote:

    Agreed. At the beginning of the summer/free agency period I had high hopes for Murray making the moves necessary to turn this team around. It took a little time, but what a difference he's made in the few moves he's executed.

    I'll say it again and again, he's a hockey genius. Or at least, that's what it looks like now, we'll see what the on ice product looks like this fall.

    I'd like to hear your thoughts... a short time ago a few people here were concerned that the Sens' window of opportunity was closing for at least a couple of years, has that outlook changed at all?

    Well, looking at our projected roster, there's no denying that we're not the dominant team that we once were.

    Up front: after our amazing top line and Vermette and Fisher, our secondary scoring hopes lie primarily with Foligno, Winchester, Kelly, and Neil. I don't really buy into the myth that we have 'no' secondary scoring, but there's no denying that we're not an especially deep team in terms of scoring forwards, like Carolina usually is or Edmonton is starting to become. Still, I'm expecting big seasons again from our top 3, 50-60 point seasons from both Vermette and Fisher, and I'm hoping that Winchester and/or Foligno can make an impact with, say, something like 35-40 points. My hopes with Winchester, especially, lie in the fact that Murray has a knack for pulling good players out of college -- Penner, Perry, etc. -- and I'm hoping that something similar will happen with Winchester. Still, there's no denying that we're putting our hopes in 1 of our 2 rookies to step up and play in the top 6, and that doesn't exactly scream scoring depth. We do have lots of character and toughness in our bottom 6, tho', and I think we'll have a 4th line that we can trust with regular shifts and something like 8-10 minutes of ice time per game, which is something we haven't had for a while now.

    Backend: I'm starting to really like this D. With the addition of Kuba, we're going to be very big. Smith, Volchenkov, and Schubert (assuming he takes that last spot) will be punishing forwards with big hits all year long. The offence coming from the D is not going to be what we're used to: Kuba, I'm sure, while come close to or eclipse the 40 point mark, but after that we're putting our hopes in a rookie (Lee) and Schubert. If both of those guys can hit 30 points this season, we'll have nothing to complain about -- but that's a lot of production to expect from them given their history and experience. We've got capable first-passers in all our pairings, tho' -- Phillips, Lee, and Schubert -- so I'm hoping our transition game will still be decent, although there's no denying that we're going to miss the passing abilities of guys like Redden, Meszaros, and Corvo. This should be a hardworking, lunch-pail-and-hard-hat kind of D, and I'm expecting us to be much stronger defensively, but it's going to produce a lot less than we're used to.

    Goal: our weakest spot, I hope we can all agree, as it has always been. Gerber can be decent; if he can pull some consistency out of his @ss, we might be OK. Auld is capable; he especially impressed me during his time in Boston last year. Neither guy is an all-star, tho'. I think the best we can hope for is decent goaltending -- making the saves that should be made, but very few standing-on-your-head performances or stealing of games. At the same time, I don't think we need anything other than steady, middle-of-the-road goaltending with the D we have and the overall defensive system I expect Hartsburg to put into place. The big question is whether or not or goalies will be able to make the simple, expected saves that need to be made. If they can't, I expect team morale to plumment, and our play along with it.

    Overall, this is a team that will compete this year. Installing Hartsburg as our coach is a move that his been massively underrated, I think; if his time with the juniors in the last 3 years is any indication, he's a guy who can implement a strong defensive system and an aggressive forechecking structure. I think a 4-6th place finish likely. Anything lower than that would surprise me; anything higher would surprise me, too, tho', as I expect one of Montreal or Boston to take 1st in the east. I don't think our 'window' is gone, although -- to stick with the metaphor -- it is less wide open this year than it was 2-3 years ago. We've got most of our core locked up for years; we've left ourselves significant cap space to improve our D and/or our goaltending in the next year if that's what we want to do. I expect the 2009-10 Sens, in fact, will be much stronger than we've seen in a while, and that's because I expect us to address our woes in net and/or to acquire an offensive D sometime in the next 10 months.

    That's pretty much what I wanted to know... I feel much the same way, our team isn't as talented as it has been in the past but the core is locked up and it looks like we can easily fill in the gaps next year when the aforementioned UFA's leave Ottawa with extra cap space. To me, that means this is the smallest the proverbial window will get for a while. (And we will still be competitive.) Then it will start opening again.

    Also, I can see why cash believes that this might be one of our best playoff teams. Our talent level didn't always get us deep into the playoffs when our team defence was lacking. This might be the lunch pail team that can squeak out some tight games without a tonne of goals. The only problem with this outlook is it relies heavily on Gerbs playing his best and most consistent hockey, well, ever.
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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by Phoenix30 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:11 pm

    cash wrote:Jay Bouwmeester would handcuff this team in ways you can't even imagine. Terrible idea imo in this salary-capped world of ours.
    rooneypoo wrote:Well, looking at our projected roster, there's no denying that we're not the dominant team that we once were.
    This is the best team the Sens have ever had, other than the 2005-06 Sens. I really don't know why people don't see ALL that Murray has done here.
    We're built for the playoffs and being led by a trio of legitimate 90-100 point players. Our defence is huge and will sufficiently insulate our better-than-average goalie. And our forward ranks are FULL with defensively responsible, speedy, gritty, and hard-working players who seem to (in my eyes) fit incredibly well together.
    We have the scoring; we've got the defence, which will lead to the goaltending; we've got the grit; we've got the pests; we've got the leadership; we've got the penalty killing and powerplay, and, most importantly, we've got the drive and determination. If the coaching is what its being hyped to be, we are the team to beat.

    I'd have to disagree that Bouwmeester would handcuff this team. Murray would only trade or sign him if its a realistic contract extension. Failing that I think Murray would look to solidfy our goaltending. As for the goaltending I dont think that Murray will pursue a quality goaltender until later in the season once he gets a handle on how Gerber and the team are doing.
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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by PKC on Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:28 pm

    cash wrote:Jay Bouwmeester would handcuff this team in ways you can't even imagine. Terrible idea imo in this salary-capped world of ours.

    Considering Murray was willing to spend almost 7 million per year on Campbell, I can't possibly envision how Bouwmeester would handcuff our team. We have approximately (by my early, rough estimations) 18 million dollars to spend on 1 starting goaltender (assuming Elliott doesn't succeed the role), 1 free agent defenseman (Bouwmeester, potentially) and depending on whether Winchester or Foligno excel at their play, a potential top 6 forward.

    And all that also assumes that we can't fill some roles with some rookies as well. Spending that money on a guy who will be the cornerstone of our defense for the next decade is hardly handcuffing anyone. In as little as two years, our top 4 defenders could be:

    Phillips-Bouwmeester
    Volchenkov-Lee
    Karlsson-Weircioch/whoever

    That has the potential to be one of the most elite defenses in the league. Money very, very, very well spent if you ask me.

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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by Guest on Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:13 am

    PKC wrote:
    cash wrote:Jay Bouwmeester would handcuff this team in ways you can't even imagine. Terrible idea imo in this salary-capped world of ours.

    Considering Murray was willing to spend almost 7 million per year on Campbell, I can't possibly envision how Bouwmeester would handcuff our team. We have approximately (by my early, rough estimations) 18 million dollars to spend on 1 starting goaltender (assuming Elliott doesn't succeed the role), 1 free agent defenseman (Bouwmeester, potentially) and depending on whether Winchester or Foligno excel at their play, a potential top 6 forward.

    And all that also assumes that we can't fill some roles with some rookies as well. Spending that money on a guy who will be the cornerstone of our defense for the next decade is hardly handcuffing anyone. In as little as two years, our top 4 defenders could be:

    Phillips-Bouwmeester
    Volchenkov-Lee
    Karlsson-Weircioch/whoever

    That has the potential to be one of the most elite defenses in the league. Money very, very, very well spent if you ask me.
    How much cap space do you think there is?
    Given the cost of our top-4 forwards (23M) I don't see how you can possibly expect to pay all those D that kind of defence and put anything other than rookie salary's everywhere else.
    Volchenkov (4+) - Bouwmeester (6+)
    Phillips (3.5) - Lee (3+)
    Karlsson (1) - Whoever (.6)
    Thats 18M on conservative increases + the locked in 25 (including Kelly) from 5 forwards and you've got 41M locked with 2 goalies and 7 forwards to sign.
    So lets say the cap is at 60M (Its going to level off very soon) that means you've got 19M to ice those 9 players.
    So now lets project Foligno and Winchester to take up another 2.5M each (which is a meager raise, by todays standards) Now you've got 13M to sign 2 goalies and 5 forwards. Now imagine you sign a goalie for 5M and a backup for 1M, you've got 7M left for 5 forwards. Each gets 1M and and there's 2M left for injuries, callups, and acquisitions.
    On the surface, that looks fine, but there's no guarantee we can keep any of those players at those prices. Amazing as it is, paying that much for those 5 signings (Bouwmeester, Volchenkov, Lee, Foligno, Winchester) and only 5M on a FA goalie is extremely hopeful.
    I'll agree that it sounds more plausible than I originally thought, but its still a stretch imo.
    If anyone can get it done, though, its Murray.
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    Re: Our new look team

    Post by PKC on Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:28 am

    Two years from now perhaps that might be the case but I was only referring to next year.

    Next year we have 11 F, 6 D and 1 G signed to a cap hit of 43.7 million. The forward position can easily be filled by promoting from the minors either Zubov, Nikulin, Regin, Daugavins, O'Brien or Hennessey. And even that forward position depends on where Schubert plays this year and next. It's very possible that we might only need to fill a spot on D and sign a goalie if Elliott doesn't take over full time duties.

    Down the road in a few years, sure, maybe if our young guys step up and become big time contributors they will most likely need to get paid, but its not like we can't trade a guy here or there to keep replenishing the farm. I just can't possibly see any way that Bouwmeester is a cap hindrance to this team given his calibre of play and elite level of potential.

    I can say that over the next decade, with the way that this team is being built, Bouwmeester has the potential to be win 2 Norris trophies and be a perennial candidate for the award. That's just how I feel and see his talent level.

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