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Blog: Who's coming and who's going

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M_Christopher

M_Christopher
Sophomore
Sophomore
Since moving back to Ottawa, I’ve got the itch to start blogging again.

I figured it would be a hard time to start back up during the playoff run, but since it has come to a bittersweet end, it is time for me to start again.

Enough has been said about the season and playoff run, so I will skip over that and pick-up with some thoughts heading into the off-season and highlight some key prospects.

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Off-season:

Daniel Alfredsson: Everyone has different thoughts on whether Alfie will be back or will he retire. While lots can be argued about it, but the fact Alfie made a point to pick up the puck at the end of Game 4…..a game where the Sens were throttled all over the ice…..screams to me that he is going to retire. Not the way any of us want to see Alfie go out, so here’s hoping that I’m way off and Alfie has one more year in the tank.

Sergei Gonchar: He was saying all the right things to the media and to Bryan Murray about how “He enjoyed his time in Ottawa…” and how “He’d like to return next season..” I will go out on a limb and say Gonchar is gone; it’s just hard to imagine Bryan Murray is willing to give a two-year contract to Gonchar even after a very good season. Given his age and likely salary demands, he is gone. That being said, if he’d be willing to sign a one-year deal at a decent price, I’d be open to a return.

Guillaume Latendresse: Not much needs to be said about Lats. He was a gamble when we signed him, with hopes he could return to his form from his early years. He didn’t, and I would think his days in the NHL could be coming to sad end. See Robbie Schremp.

Peter Regin: Last thing Regin did that I remember was crashing into a net in the playoffs in 2010 (?) Much like many other NHL prospects, it looks like Regin just could find his groove at the NHL level. That being said, he could find an organization that will take him as a recovery project. If I were a betting man I would say Calgary or Winnipeg takes a chance on him.

Mike Hoffman: No quest he will get resigned to a 2-3 year deal, guy is young and has shown flashes of something special. Injuries have wreaked havoc on the start to his professional career, but there is zero chance the Sens let him walk.

Erik Condra: Condra has built himself into a very steady and reliable bottom-six forward and penalty killer, only way he doesn’t return next season as a Sen is if his contract demands are out of line.

Mike Lundin: Who? The guy was Mr.Invisible when he played and to be honest. He’ll find work with an AHL club or European club.

Andre Benoit: Personally not overly a fan, but he was serviceable when needed. I’m not sure where the club sits on Benoit but if we resign him, and I feel like it’s a big if, it’ll be a one-year deal, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he spent it playing in Bingo.

Patrick Wiercioch: With all the injuries to the Sens roster, Patrick was called up to play an important role for the club, and in no way disappointed. 19 points in 32 AHL games, he basically continued with another 19 in 42 NHL games. If Gonchar doesn’t return, Wiercioch will be the benefactor and will be looked upon to pick up a portion of the PP time. No question he’s back next season as a full-time NHL’er.

Stephane Da Costa: Had a good year with Binghampton, but time is running out for the once highly-touted France native. Well no one doubts his talent, he is caught in a numbers game with-in a deep Sens prospect pool and his place in the NHL isn’t going to be with the Ottawa Senators. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Sens resign him to similar contract as a security blanket for Bingo.

Mark Borowiecki: Plays an a very specific defensive role and will be back next year fighting for a job, but it’s likely he’ll be growing in Bingo for another season. Expecting a two-year contract for Boro.

Others: Corey Cowick, David Dziurzynski and Nathan Lawson will all see renewals. Hugh Jessiman is gone already, and Louie Caporusso is done with our organization, after an impressive collegian career, he just failed to adjust at next level.

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Take Note:

Mikael Wikstrand: In his 2nd full year for Mora of the Allsvenskan (2nd tier Swedish league) Mikael erupted with 25points in 45 games, after putting up 3points the previous year. Throw in a solid showing at the U20 and Mikael is quickly finding his form and adapting to his increased role. While it is the 2nd tier league, another season like the one he just had and Sens fans should expect to see Wilkstrand in North America in time for 14/15 season. Looking like another late round Murray gem.

Stefan Noesen: The collective hockey word was introduced to Stefan Noesen when he was suspended in the OHL and subsequently suspended from the World Jrs. He had a down year in terms of point-production, however Noesen showed a much more physical and complete game with Plymouth, and took on a leadership role. It’ll we very interesting to see what route Ottawa takes with him next season, but Noesen looks poised to take the step-up into the AHL.

Matt Puempel: Led the OHL in goal scoring heading into the world juniors, but was sadly cut from a team Canada roster that struggled to score goals…bet he would of helped with that problem eh? Matt finished his OHL career averaging just over a point-per-game, and jumped to Bingo in time for the playoffs, where he continued to score goals; picking up 2 in 3 games before Bingo bowed out of the AHL playoffs. While it will be tough with guys like Pageau, Big-Z, Silfverberg, Stone and Hoffman already ahead of him, fans should fully expect to see Puempel competing for a spot with the Big-Sens next season.

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Playing GM:

Bryan Murray told the media he would be looking to add a game-changer type top-six scorer to the roster and that he wouldn’t shy away from spending picks and prospects to do so. With a very thin UFA pool but numerous teams looking to shed some cap, it’ll be a very unique off-season for everyone.

Below is me just spitballing but these are the players I fully expect Bryan Murray to pursue:

Nathan Horton: In the midst of a playoff run, and not a forgone conclusion to hit the market but should he, expect Bryan Murray to put in a call to the Horton camp to try and bring him to Ottawa. While concussion woes have slowed him down, Horton is a powerful scorer that Ottawa would like to add to their physically lacking top-six.

Ryane Clowe: Same as Horton, in that he may resign with the Rangers. Should he hit UFA season, Ottawa push hard to bring the injured Clowe to Ottawa.

Bobby Ryan: Sens fans wet dream, Bobby Ryan will be square in Murrays crosshairs. Given the asking price from Philly started with Courturier or B.Schenn, expect Ottawa to have to part ways with something around Jacob Silfverberg, and Cody Ceci or Wiercioch amongst other pieces.

Kris Versteeg: Injury plagued and passed from team to team, Versteeg is still searching for a permanent home in the NHL. A clear top-six winger who has shown very brief flashes of game-changing ability, Versteeg could cost us the least amount of assets has Florida has made it clear they want to chance their landscape and shed some cap.

Chris Stewart: In the doghouse of Ken Hitchcock, Stewart’s days as a Blues member are likely over. Stewart is two seasons removed from starting the season out-pointing Crosby. The opportunity is there, and Paul Maclean has proven his ability to get the best out players. Stewart lining up with Spezza or Turris could be the spark we are missing.

Alex Burrows: A long shot but potentially available in the wake of Vancouver getting upset yet again. Top-flight physical scorer, fits everything Murray said he was after.

Wildcards: Nino Niederreiter and Alex Burmistrov are both in need of a change of scenery, and Murray took a run at Filatov, while neither have fallen that far out of their clubs favor, both could be had for less than the draft used to draft either.
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I’ll being doing a large draft overview for the Sens and one for the draft as a whole, but I’ll look into some rumors that emerge and do a couple more prospect highlights before then.

Cheers to what was an impressive season and to the future.

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?blogger_id=121
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PTFlea

Post on Tue May 28, 2013 11:53 pm by PTFlea

Nice! Welcome back. Still think Alfie comes back - I would bet on it and there are worse situations than signing Gonchar to a 2 year deal.

Should be an interesting off season.

tim1_2

Post on Wed May 29, 2013 7:13 am by tim1_2

The Gonch will certainly be able to sign a two year deal somewhere, if not here. If The Alfie departs, it wouldn't hurt to have a veteran like Gonchar around.

Stewart or Ryan would be pretty sweet.

Good blog!

avatar

Post on Wed May 29, 2013 7:39 am by NEELY

Stewart would be an interesting option and St.Louis is operating under a budget as well and they need to resign their big 2 D men on the back end. Brings a physical element to the game along with some goal scoring but he's so inconsistent, you never know which guy is going to show up. It is a move that makes sense though and hopefully MacLean would make the transition easy for the guy. Once again, not sure what I would give up for the guy though. Offensive guys in a Hitchcock system do tend to have their ups and downs though so not really sure what to expect.

Finding a big body guy who can score and play a physical game is huge and something that Ottawa is sorely lacking... beggers can't really be choosers here and that's what Stewart brings. Could really be a guy that fits in well on the wing and he's just entering his prime. Ottawa's answer to Lucic potentially. Add in a guy like Noesen perhaps coming in and playing that same kind of game on the wing... Ottawa could be hell to play against up front.

The other guy I think Ottawa should be looking at is Bickell. Ottawa needs a guy to round out their 4th line with Neil and Smith and there is no way Chicago can resign him. If you can add both Stewart and Bickell to the Sens lineup, wow, look out playoff time or any team trying to push the Sens around because it won't happen.

Stewart/Spezza/Michalek
Alfi/Turris/Zibanejad
Silfverberg/Pageau/Greening
Condra/Smith/Neil
Bickell/Kassian/Conacher

That's a tough lineup. I would assume someone of those 15 would be going the other way for Stewart... probably Conacher or Michalek.

Ev

Post on Wed May 29, 2013 9:07 am by Ev

Stewart is kind soft for a guy his size. He doesn't use his body as much as he could, doesn't hit too much according to the stats. I'll take him for the goal scoring aspect for sure, but I wouldn't expect him to bring a a dominant physical game.

avatar

Post on Wed May 29, 2013 9:22 am by NEELY

Ev wrote:Stewart is kind soft for a guy his size. He doesn't use his body as much as he could, doesn't hit too much according to the stats. I'll take him for the goal scoring aspect for sure, but I wouldn't expect him to bring a a dominant physical game.

He plays a pretty physical game from what I have seen but he doesn't finish his checks a lot of nights. No question. That's part of the inconsistency of his game. Some nights he brings it, some nights he doesn't.

Hoags

Post on Wed May 29, 2013 9:36 am by Hoags

NEELY wrote:
He plays a pretty physical game from what I have seen but he doesn't finish his checks a lot of nights. No question. That's part of the inconsistency of his game. Some nights he brings it, some nights he doesn't.

He'd be a whipping boy for sure unless MacLean can take him to another level.

But he'd be a good target as St. Louis has 2 big D to sign and Hitchcock isn't a fan of his. Plus they have Tarasenko.

PTFlea

Post on Wed May 29, 2013 9:42 am by PTFlea

Bickell would be interesting. And I'm still a fan of Stalberg.

SeawaySensFan

Post on Wed May 29, 2013 9:44 am by SeawaySensFan

Hoags wrote:
NEELY wrote:
He plays a pretty physical game from what I have seen but he doesn't finish his checks a lot of nights. No question. That's part of the inconsistency of his game. Some nights he brings it, some nights he doesn't.

He'd be a whipping boy for sure unless MacLean can take him to another level.

But he'd be a good target as St. Louis has 2 big D to sign and Hitchcock isn't a fan of his. Plus they have Tarasenko.

Interesting to note that while Hitchcock isn't a fan, Colorado weren't fans either. Makes you wonder.

M_Christopher

Post on Wed May 29, 2013 10:00 am by M_Christopher

SeawaySensFan wrote:
Hoags wrote:
NEELY wrote:
He plays a pretty physical game from what I have seen but he doesn't finish his checks a lot of nights. No question. That's part of the inconsistency of his game. Some nights he brings it, some nights he doesn't.

He'd be a whipping boy for sure unless MacLean can take him to another level.

But he'd be a good target as St. Louis has 2 big D to sign and Hitchcock isn't a fan of his. Plus they have Tarasenko.

Interesting to note that while Hitchcock isn't a fan, Colorado weren't fans either. Makes you wonder.

To be fair Colorado also traded away Kevin Shattenkirk, and Anderson.

Bickell and Stalberg would be interesting options.

SeawaySensFan

Post on Wed May 29, 2013 10:06 am by SeawaySensFan

M_Christopher wrote:
SeawaySensFan wrote:
Hoags wrote:
NEELY wrote:
He plays a pretty physical game from what I have seen but he doesn't finish his checks a lot of nights. No question. That's part of the inconsistency of his game. Some nights he brings it, some nights he doesn't.

He'd be a whipping boy for sure unless MacLean can take him to another level.

But he'd be a good target as St. Louis has 2 big D to sign and Hitchcock isn't a fan of his. Plus they have Tarasenko.

Interesting to note that while Hitchcock isn't a fan, Colorado weren't fans either. Makes you wonder.

To be fair Colorado also traded away Kevin Shattenkirk, and Anderson.

Bickell and Stalberg would be interesting options.

Well neither Phoenix or Ottawa seem to be anxious to move the Shat or young Andy. What's all this about Bickell to Ottawa now?!?!?! Ahhhhh! Ahhhhh!

Hoags

Post on Wed May 29, 2013 10:13 am by Hoags

SeawaySensFan wrote:

Well neither Phoenix or Ottawa seem to be anxious to move the Shat or young Andy. What's all this about Bickell to Ottawa now?!?!?! Ahhhhh! Ahhhhh!

The Name Dropper (and almost Sens-GM) says we should do it.

avatar

Post on Wed May 29, 2013 10:26 am by NEELY

M_Christopher wrote:
SeawaySensFan wrote:
Hoags wrote:
NEELY wrote:
He plays a pretty physical game from what I have seen but he doesn't finish his checks a lot of nights. No question. That's part of the inconsistency of his game. Some nights he brings it, some nights he doesn't.

He'd be a whipping boy for sure unless MacLean can take him to another level.

But he'd be a good target as St. Louis has 2 big D to sign and Hitchcock isn't a fan of his. Plus they have Tarasenko.

Interesting to note that while Hitchcock isn't a fan, Colorado weren't fans either. Makes you wonder.

To be fair Colorado also traded away Kevin Shattenkirk, and Anderson.

Bickell and Stalberg would be interesting options.

Wouldn't go near Stalberg.... there are other guys who fill in the void of a scoring forward and some depth. Bickell I love and I didn't need PM to tell me that he would be the perfect guy to fit in on the 4th line. Bickell/Smith/Neil, good luck matching up with that in the playoffs.

Hoags

Post on Wed May 29, 2013 10:37 am by Hoags

NEELY wrote:
Wouldn't go near Stalberg.... there are other guys who fill in the void of a scoring forward and some depth. Bickell I love and I didn't need PM to tell me that he would be the perfect guy to fit in on the 4th line. Bickell/Smith/Neil, good luck matching up with that in the playoffs.

McGuire said you put him on Spezza's wing and you'd have a 30G scorer. Said he's ready to break out and he'd be our version of James Neal.

avatar

Post on Wed May 29, 2013 10:39 am by NEELY

Not buying that because they may have to overpay to get him. UFA doesn't cost an asset though so there is something to that. Wasn't fan of him in Toronto, not a fan of him in Chicago, so I would have to be convinced by seeing it to believe it. Lots of Stalbergs in the world.

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